Chelsea have named Brighton boss Graham Potter as their new manager, capping a frenetic 24 hours of change at Stamford Bridge which saw Thomas Tuchel depart after exactly 100 games in charge.
It is thought that while the most recent result (a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Dynamo Zagreb) sped up the process, the relationship between the German, new owner Todd Boehly and the Blues squad had been poisoned over the summer, meaning that change was likely to come sooner rather than later.
And Chelsea have agreed to pay the £16m compensation to get Brighton boss Potter, who had been in talks with the club as their no.1 choice from Wednesday afternoon, and had cancelled his Thursday Press Conference to complete the move, signing a five-year contract at Stamford Bridge.
Potter told Chelsea media that ‘I am incredibly proud and excited to represent Chelsea FC, this fantastic football club. I am very excited to partner with Chelsea’s new ownership group and look forward to meeting and working with the exciting group of players and to develop a team and culture that our amazing fans can be proud of.
“I would also like to place my sincere thanks to Brighton & Hove Albion for allowing me this opportunity and in particular Tony Bloom and all the players, staff and supporters for their continued support during my time at the club”, he added.
Meanwhile, Todd Boehly continued:
“We are thrilled to bring Graham to Chelsea. He is a proven coach and an innovator in the Premier League who fits our vision for the Club. Not only is he extremely talented on the pitch, he has skills and capabilities that extend beyond the pitch which will make Chelsea a more successful Club.
“He has had a major impact at his previous Clubs’ and we look forward to his positive impact at Chelsea. We look forward to supporting him, his coaching team and the squad in realising their full potential in the coming months and years.”
His assistant Billy Reid, first-team coaches Bjorn Hamberg and Bruno, goalkeeping coach Ben Roberts and assistant head of recruitment Kyle Macaulay have all made the switch with Potter, Brighton have confirmed.
“Potter will take charge of the team immediately”, they added, suggesting that he will take to the dugout for the Blues’ Saturday lunchtime clash with Fulham.
Chelsea are not expected to stop there, either, with a Director of Football likely to come in during the coming months, lightening the load placed upon the manager when it comes to transfer decisions.
For now, however, they are placing their trust in Potter.