Potter reveals why he chose Chelsea in his first interview since leaving Brighton

News Desk
Chelsea boss Graham Potter watches his team

New Chelsea boss Graham Potter insisted that it was the club’s vision which convinced him to leave Brighton for Stamford Bridge.

The 47-year-old replaced Thomas Tuchel – who was sacked on Wednesday morning – last week after leaving the Seagulls.

He signed a five-year deal at Stamford Bridge and admitted the new owners, led by chairman Todd Boehly, showed him it was the right move.

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“It’s the start of a really exciting period, I think,” Potter told the club’s official site.

“New ownership, who I was really, really excited with and impressed by, firstly as people and then their vision for the club and what they wanted to do.

“Of course, the history of the club speaks for itself, but it’s about trying to create that again in our own way.”

Potter joins with Chelsea sixth in the Premier League and his first game will be Wednesday’s Champions League visit of RB Salzburg after Saturday’s trip to Fulham was postponed following the Queen’s death.

“You can create a team where the players enjoy playing, which can transmit to the supporters. Ultimately the most important connection at a club is between the team and supporters,” he said.

“We like to play in an attacking way, a balanced way, and players have to feel free to make decisions and express themselves.

“It’s about winning, creating a team which competes, is honest and works together, it’s a combination between football and human values.

“You have to understand they are human beings first, the key thing is to understand them, what motivates them and what they are like as people.

“From that come to some common ground and build relationships, communicate on a daily basis, build respect, trust and honesty, my starting point must always be the person first.”

Potter wrote an open letter to Brighton fans too, which was revealed yesterday, it said: “This has been three wonderful years with a club that has changed my life and I want to take a moment to say goodbye to all of you who have made it such a special period of my career.

“I bid farewell to a great club and one that will always mean so much to me and my family. For some I recognise that the change that comes so suddenly in football can be hard to accept.

“I may not be able to persuade you all to forgive my departure – but I would at least like to take the chance to say thank you.”

Former Ostersunds and Swansea boss Potter guided Brighton to ninth place in the Premier League last season – the club’s highest ever top-flight finish – and they sit fourth in the current table.

He said his players “went above and beyond” and paid tribute to the Seagulls’ fans, their board of directors and club staff.

Potter added: “I hope that you will understand that at this stage of my career, I felt I had to grasp a new opportunity.

“I would like to thank (chairman) Tony Bloom, (chief executive) Paul Barber and the directors for the opportunity they gave me three years ago and then the unswerving support that came with it. My gratitude also to Dan Ashworth and David Weir, two first-class technical directors.”

Potter said he and the club had shared “some brilliant moments”, citing wins against Tottenham, Arsenal, Manchester City and Manchester United, and congratulated his successor at the club, “whoever that may be”.

He continued: “Albion fans know that with Tony, Paul and David, the club is in safe hands.

“To my successor, whoever that may be, I would say, ‘congratulations’. You’ll be working for a great club with a fantastic squad, supported by a great chairman and board.

“The squad are playing at a high level and will get better. Most of all, the supporters will get behind the team home and away.

“To everyone at Brighton & Hove Albion: thank you. It has been a pleasure and honour to serve the club over the last three years. I wish you every success going forward.”