Chelsea have confirmed the appointment of Graham Potter as their new head coach.
Potter has signed a five-year deal and will take charge of Saturday’s trip to Fulham after agreeing to succeed Thomas Tuchel.
‘I am incredibly proud and excited to represent Chelsea FC, this fantastic football club,’ Potter said.
‘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.
‘I would also like to place my sincere thanks to Brighton & Hove Albion for allowing me this opportunity and in particular Tony Bloom and all the players, staff and supporters for their continued support during my time at the club.’
Chelsea moved swiftly to land Potter after calling time on Tuchel’s reign on Wednesday morning.
Potter swiftly emerged as Chelsea’s clear first choice, with former Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino also on the shortlist.
The pace with which the process moved, on the other hand, convinced some in Brighton that Potter had been on Chelsea’s radar for some time.
Potter pleased co-controlling owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali in negotiations on Wednesday after being granted permission to speak with Chelsea earlier in the day after they agreed to pay his £15 million release clause.
Negotiations to make the 47-year-old the first managerial appointment of Chelsea’s Todd Boehly-Clearlake Capital era were completed on Thursday.
Potter is anticipated to bring many Brighton staff members with him to Stamford Bridge, including coaches Bjorn Hamberg and Billy Reid, as well as assistant recruiting chief Kyle Macaulay.
He came at Chelsea’s training field in the afternoon after saying his goodbyes to teammates and staff who were heartbroken by his leaving at Brighton’s training ground on Thursday morning.
Potter will take Chelsea training for the first time on Friday.
‘We are thrilled to bring Graham to Chelsea,’ Boehly said. ‘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.’
While Tuchel lasted just 100 games, Potter is someone Chelsea’s owners are planning for the long-term with and believe is a better fit for them and their vision for the club.
They also wanted to appoint a coach with a track record of developing a team and improving young players which contributed to Potter’s appeal.