Graham Potter announced as Chelsea head coach on five-year contract

Graham Potter has signed as the new Chelsea head coach on a five-year contract, replacing Thomas Tuchel, who was sacked by the club’s new owners on Wednesday.

Potter met with Chelsea’s co-controlling owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali in London on Wednesday afternoon and was pictured arriving on Thursday morning at Brighton’s training ground to tie up loose ends. He traveled to London later in the day to formally complete his move.

The 47-year-old had already stood down from Brighton’s pre-match press conference ahead of this weekend’s fixture against Bournemouth.

In a statement, Chelsea said: “Potter is one of the most exciting coaches in the game, starting his journey in Sweden before bringing his talents to the English game over the past four seasons. The 47-year-old is educated to degree level in disciplines beyond sport and has combined these experiences to forge a collaborative, forward-thinking approach while developing attacking and winning football.

“That has been in evidence during his time at Brighton & Hove Albion, where he achieved that club’s highest-ever league finish last season. Along the way, he earned praise for his winning brand of football on the south coast, while proving flexible in tactics and formations to be a step ahead of opponents.”

Potter said: “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.”

The agreement allows Potter, first revealed as the favorite to succeed Tuchel by Telegraph Sport, to take charge of Chelsea’s Premier League trip to Fulham on Saturday lunchtime and completes a swift process for Boehly and his Clearlake partners.

The entire operation will cost Chelsea more than £20 million, with Potter’s release clause thought to be set at £15m and Tuchel in line to receive almost £7m in compensation, and comes less than a week after the transfer window, in which the owners spent almost £300m, closed.

Chelsea’s owners wanted to make a long-term appointment of someone they believe can create and cultivate a new culture within the club, who is ready to listen to their ideas and explain his own philosophies.

After deciding that Tuchel was not the long-term head coach they were looking for, Chelsea’s co-owners identified former Ostersunds and Swansea City manager Potter as the right candidate to lead the club’s new era, following the completed takeover at the end of last season .

While he is yet to manage in the Champions League, Potter took Ostersunds to the last 32 of the Europa League on a budget of just under £1m in 2018 when they secured an eye-catching 2-1 victory over Arsenal at the Emirates.

Todd Boehly, the Chelsea chairman, said: “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 realizing their full potential in the coming months and years.”

Behdad Eghbali and José E. Feliciano, the co-controlling owners, added: “Graham is a football innovator and winner on the pitch and a leader off the pitch. He has deeply impressed us with his ideas and approach to football. We are thrilled to partner with Graham to build a winning team, one that embodies the culture of collaboration, innovation, teamwork, player development, and a commitment to excellence on and off the pitch. We are fortunate to have Graham and his team as our partners in that journey.”


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