Reports suggest that Chelsea players were taken aback by the news of Graham Potter’s sacking and only found out about it online. Potter was dismissed just six months after taking over from Thomas Tuchel, who had led the club to Champions League glory. However, following a poor run of results, Potter was let go with the club languishing in 11th place. The Telegraph reports that concerned players contacted their representatives on Sunday night after learning of the news. It is believed that the squad only found out about Potter’s departure through the official statement that was released at around 8 pm.
The majority of the squad were given no prior notice of Potter’s sacking and returned home to find out via social media. One source said that most of the players had no idea until they saw the statement. They were asking who would be taking training on Monday and who is in charge for Tuesday. Virtually all of them were in recovery or training on Sunday, so they were shocked to find this out at home.
Potter was due to conduct his pre-match press duties on Monday ahead of the Liverpool game. But by 3 pm, the club had started the process of removing him following internal talks between Stamford Bridge bosses. It is understood that Chelsea will not have to pay the full value of Potter’s £50m contract, which had four years left to run. Defeat to Aston Villa, Potter’s seventh of the season, pushed Chelsea into the bottom half of the table and proved to be the final straw for the club’s owners, who had witnessed the game from the stands.
Sporting directors Laurence Stewart and Paul Winstanley are believed to have made the decision to sack Potter. They were given the full support of co-controlling owners Boehly and Behdad Eghbali. Stewart and Winstanley, backed by Boehly and Eghbali, will now lead the process to find Potter’s permanent replacement. Julian Nagelsmann is among the favourites following his shock sacking at Bayern Munich, where Tuchel succeeded him. However, Mauricio Pochettino, who was interviewed for the job last year before Potter was hired, is also in the mix. The Chelsea board have a relationship with Nagelsmann’s agent, as he also represents Timo Werner, who was sold back to RB Leipzig last summer. Sporting director Stewart and technical director Christopher Vivell also worked with Nagelsmann at Leipzig.
Bruno Saltor, a member of Potter’s coaching staff, has taken interim charge while Chelsea look for a permanent successor. Chelsea sacked manager Graham Potter.