Chelsea have sacked Graham Potter. As with seemingly everything else the club has done under new owner Todd Boehly, that’s proven to be an expensive endeavour.
Having spent the most of any club in both the summer and winter transfer windows, breaking records for net spend across a season, Chelsea now boast the most expensively-assembled squad in Europe.
However, despite that outlay, they currently sit in the bottom half and look increasingly unlikely to qualify for the Champions League. They almost certainly need to win Europe’s most prestigious cup competition if they’re to remain in it next season.
Potter departs Chelsea with the worst record of any of their managers in the Premier League era, having registered 1.27 points per game and a win percentage of just 31.8%.
“Chelsea FC has announced that Graham Potter has departed the club. Graham has agreed to collaborate with the club to facilitate a smooth transition,” a club statement read.
“In his time with the club, Graham has taken us to the quarter-final of the Champions League, where we will face Real Madrid.
“Chelsea would like to thank Graham for all his efforts and contribution and wish him well for the future.”
Here are the mindblowing numbers behind Potter’s short stint as Chelsea manager.
Sacking Thomas Tuchel
The Daily Mail reported in September that Chelsea paid Tuchel £13million – with a further £2million to his backroom team – in September.
The German coach signed a two-year extension, running until June 2024, after leading the Blues to Champions League glory in 2024.
“You know how glad I am to be here and how much I like it,” Tuchel told reporters three weeks before his dismissal, hinting at negotiations for a further contract extension to remain at the helm well into the new Boehly era.
“The reality of our decision was that we just weren’t sure that Thomas saw the same way we saw,” Boehly later explained of the decision.
“No one’s right or wrong, it’s just we didn’t share a vision for the future. It wasn’t about soccer, it was really about the shared vision for what we wanted Chelsea Football Club to look like.
“It wasn’t a decision that was made as a result of a single win or loss. It was a decision that was made really about what we thought was the right vision for the club.”
Chelsea were sixth in the table when they sacked Tuchel, three points off the top four. They now find themselves 11th, 12 points off the Champions League qualification spots.
Graham Potter cost Chelsea £3.1 million in compensation to Brighton for each Premier League victory.
— Kieran Maguire (@KieranMaguire) April 2, 2023
A world record fee for a manager
Last month, Brighton released their accounts for the 2021-22 season. It had already been strongly suspected that Potter had cost a lot to get out of the south coast club, but their financial reports outlined exactly how much.
“On 18 September 2022 the club was delighted to appoint Roberto De Zerbi as its new head coach following the loss of Graham Potter and his team to Chelsea a few days earlier in a deal that saw the club receive a sum of £21.5m,” read a section entitled Post Balance Sheet Events.
It’s believed that figure also includes the costs of securing Potter’s five-man coaching team, comprising of Billy Reid, Bjon Hamberg, Bruno Saltor, Ben Roberts and Kyle Macaulay – all of whom followed Potter from the Amex to Stamford Bridge.
Former Brighton right-back Bruno Saltor remains at the club and will take charge on a caretaker basis until Potter’s successor is confirmed.
Potter’s Chelsea contract
When Potter was appointed as Tuchel’s successor back in September, he signed a five-year contract at Stamford Bridge.
According to French outlet L’Equipe, the 47-year-old received a yearly income of £11.8million, making Potter the third highest-paid manager in the Premier League behind Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp and the fourth highest-paid manager in world football prior to his dismissal.
That put the total cost of Potter’s entire contract at a staggering £59million. It remains to be seen what kind of compensation package that he’ll receive, having been sacked six months into the job, but The Athletic’s David Ornstein reports that Potter will receive “regular severance unrelated to remaining duration of 5-year contract”
Should Potter’s contract have been paid in full, it would have eclipsed – even doubled – the record £26.6million that Chelsea paid Antonio Conte after sacking the Italian in 2018.
It remains to be seen exactly how much Chelsea will pay Potter in compensation, but expect the full figures to become available at a later date.
One theory doing the rounds on social media is there was a sacking clause in Potter’s contract related to being in the top half. Chelsea dropped to 11th, the first time they’ve been in the bottom half this season, following the defeat to Aston Villa. But that is very much uncorroborated at this point.