Graham Potter says he hopes Brighton fans forgive him for moving to Chelsea
Graham Potter has apologized to fans of his former Premier League side Brighton in an open letter published on the team’s website after opting to move to Chelsea to succeed former boss Thomas Tuchel after the Champions League-winning coach was surprisingly sacked by the new club. ownership group.
Potter, 47, is considered by many to be one of Europe’s top managerial candidates after developing an eye-catching style of play with minimal resources at Brighton and had been seen as a likely contender for one of the top English football jobs if and when one might become available.
Tuchel’s surprise dismissal, which came just hours after his side’s pitiful performance in a 1-0 away loss to Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League and an unconvincing start to the new Premier League season , gave Potter the opportunity to sit in the warm seat at a European power station – but as he wrote in the letter published on Sunday, the decision to leave Brighton was bittersweet.
“It 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 time in my career.,” he wrote.
“I bid farewell to a great club and a club that will always mean so much to me and my family. For some, I recognize that the change that is coming so suddenly to football can be difficult to accept.
“I may not be able to persuade you all to forgive me for leaving – but I would like to at least take the opportunity to say thank you.”
Potter’s influence in Brighton would take some time to fade. Last season he guided them to their best result in English football’s top flight – ninth – and leaves them in fourth place this season, with four wins from their six games so far.
But while Potter’s decision to walk away from the club whose identity he has helped shape over recent seasons will be gratifying, he said he hopes supporters will understand why he felt he had to take hold. the chance offered to him by Chelsea.
“I hope you will understand that at this stage of my career, I felt that I had to take a new opportunity. I want to thank [the chairman] Tony Bloom, [the chief executive] Paul Barber and the directors for the opportunity they gave me three years ago and the unwavering support that comes with it. My gratitude also to Dan Ashworth and David Weir, two top technical directors.”
He also noted some of his greatest successes with the Seagulls: wins over Manchester City, Manchester United and others, but reserved his final words for the club’s fans.
“The team is playing at a high level and will improve,” he wrote.
“Above all, the fans will support the team home and away. To everyone at Brighton & Hove Albion: thank you. It has been a pleasure and an honor to serve the club for the past three years. I wish you every success for the future.”