The Daily Telegraph
Potter handed £60m contract by Chelsea
Chelsea have given new head coach Graham Potter a contract worth £60million and want him to help choose the club’s next sporting director.
Potter has signed a five-year deal worth £12million a year, which is one of the longest in Chelsea’s history and means he will earn £60million if he lasts the full term of his contract.
Chelsea paid £15million to release Potter from his Brighton deal, underlining the faith the new owners have put in the 47-year-old, who has taken five members of staff with him to Stamford Bridge. Work has already started on finding a “world-class” permanent sporting director, but senior sources have confirmed that Potter will help to choose the successful candidate, with the club talking to people with Premier League experience and others who have worked on the continent.
Chelsea want the sporting director in place before the Premier League breaks for the World Cup in November.
Co-controlling owner Todd Boehly made himself interim sporting director during the summer, but he plans to step back and, along with Behdad Eghbali, support the full-time sporting director and Potter during the January transfer window. Chelsea’s transfer business will also be helped by recruitment specialist Kyle Macaulay, who has followed Potter from Brighton, along with assistant Billy Reid, coaches Bjorn Hamberg and Bruno and Ben Roberts.
Potter agreed to succeed Thomas Tuchel yesterday, a little over 24 hours after the German was sacked and after holding talks with Chelsea’s owners on Wednesday. Chelsea’s owners also spoke to former Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino, but decided Potter, who will take his first training session today, is an “innovator” and a leader who is on the rise.
It is understood Boehly and Eghbali were impressed with the fact Potter is a “risk-taker”, having started his coaching career in Sweden with Ostersunds, before managing at Swansea City, and were attracted to the fact he has a Masters in emotional intelligence. Confirming Potter’s appointment, Boehly 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 realising their full potential in the coming months and years.”
On taking over at Chelsea, 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 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 [the Brighton owner] and all the players, staff and supporters for their continued support during my time at the club.”
Eghbali said: “Graham is a football innovator and winner on the pitch and a leader off the pitch. 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.”