Premier League

Chelsea owners made quick move for Graham Potter over fears he would have joined England instead | Football

Chelsea sacked Thomas Tuchel so early in the season because they wanted to ensure they could sign Graham Potter before their new boss’s impressive record at Brighton & Hove Albion caught England’s interest.

That’s according to the Daily Mail, which reports that ahead of the UEFA Champions League group stage defeat by Dinamo Zagreb, Chelsea owner Todd Boehly decided to remove Tuchel from his position and that Potter was always the first choice replace Germans.

The Blues lost four of their first seven games of the new season under Tuchel, who was subsequently sacked despite helping his side become European and World champions in the last 15 months.

With the World Cup in Qatar in November, the Stamford Bridge hierarchy feared an unsuccessful tournament for England could result in the departure of manager Gareth Southgate and that the highly rated Potter would have been the natural first-choice candidate for the Football Association to be approaching.

They acted quickly to give Potter a five-year deal so as not to lose him to a competing job, and also to give the club a shot at long-term stability, the report adds.

Under previous owner Roman Abramovich, Chelsea regularly changed managers after short tenures, going through 15 in less than two decades during the Russian oligarch’s tenure.

Now new principal owner Todd Boehly says he wants to aim for a safer model and the report adds that Chelsea want the longevity of Potter’s reign to be similar to that of Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool and Pep Guardiola at Manchester City.

Potter, 47, will now have an unexpectedly long coaching stint at the club’s Cobham training ground, with last weekend’s game against Fulham and this weekend’s home game against Liverpool both being postponed following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

The Blues spent over £250m on new players over the summer, signing the likes of Raheem Sterling, Marc Cucurella, Wesley Fofana, Kalidou Koulibaly and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

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