Chelsea sack Graham Potter after just seven months in charge

Potter’s reign came to and end against the backdrop of a dismal 2-0 defeat by Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

Graham Potter pictured at Stamford Bridge earlier this year in a PL fixture against Fulham (Photo/Courtesy)

Chelsea Football Club have sacked head coach Graham Potter with the Englishman’s reign lasting only seven months since he took over from Thomas Tuchel in September 2022.

Potter’s reign came to and end against the backdrop of a dismal 2-0 defeat by Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

In a statement, the club said: “Chelsea FC has announced that Graham Potter has departed the club. Graham has agreed to collaborate with the Club to facilitate a smooth transition.

“In his time with the club, Graham has taken us to the quarter-final of the Champions League, where we will face Real Madrid.

“Chelsea would like to thank Graham for all his efforts and contribution and wish him well for the future.”

In the meantime, former Brighton defender Bruno has been appointed as interim head coach, with his first game being a home game against Liverpool on Tuesday

The 47-year-old had managed only four wins since the year began leaving Chelsea 11th in the Premier League table, and now 12 points behind fourth-placed Manchester United.

Potter signed a five-year deal to replace Thomas Tuchel in September, with Chelsea paying a buyout clause of £20 million to lure him from Brighton.

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But he won just seven of his 22 games in all competitions, with a January transfer window outlay of close to £300m failing to prompt a consistent upturn.

Speaking about Potter’s sacking, a statement from Chelsea co-owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali said: “On behalf of everyone at the club, we want to thank Graham sincerely for his contribution to Chelsea.

“We have the highest degree of respect for Graham as a coach and as a person. He has always conducted himself with professionalism and integrity and we are all disappointed in this outcome.

“Along with our incredible fans, we will all be getting behind Bruno and the team as we focus on the rest of the season.

The club rallied from a first-leg deficit to beat Borussia Dortmund and reach the Champions League quarter-finals, but despite adding January reinforcements including Enzo Fernandez, Mykhailo Mudryk and Joao Felix, they have continued to stutter in the Premier League.

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Potter had previously insisted he was “not the problem” and suggested he had “probably the toughest job in football” attempting to overhaul a club in transition following the Boehly-Clearlake takeover last May.

He had also claimed that some players had pointed to a challenging pre-season before his arrival, but after a 2-0 defeat to Tottenham, he said he took “full responsibility” for continued poor form.

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