Chelsea brief media and insist Graham Potter will not be sacked if top-four target is missed, but there is a get-out

·3-min read
Graham Potter on the bench prior to a pre-season friendly match at Select Car Leasing Stadium, Reading Credit: PA Images
Graham Potter on the bench prior to a pre-season friendly match at Select Car Leasing Stadium, Reading Credit: PA Images

Chelsea are determined to ditch the short-term approach with new manager Graham Potter as Todd Boehly tries to build a strong, loyal culture at the west London club.

After 100 days at the club, owners Boehly and Behdad Eghbali have overseen major change. And they do not want any more upheaval with new boss Potter told clearly it is not top-four or bust.

The club’s new regime have been quick to brief the media over their plan for Potter. The former Brighton boss penned a five-year deal at Stamford Bridge and there is every intention from the Blues hierarchy for the 47-year-old to see that deal out.

The former Leeds Beckett University coach was believed to be Boehly’s top target and the club moved quickly to get their man. And after spending £20m to get Potter out of his Brighton contract and £50m over five years for his wages, Chelsea will not make any knee-jerk reactions to his progress.

Chelsea officials have made it clear that Potter will not be shown the door if Chelsea fail to qualify for the Champions League.

The club are eager to move away from the “hire and fire” approach of Roman Abramovich, reports the Daily Mirror.

Culture reset

Previous owner Abramovich did not tolerate Chelsea finishing outside the top four. Jose Mourinho, Andre Villas Boas and Luiz Felipe Scolari were all axed after failing to reach the Champions League. And Antonio Conte was dismissed after a fifth-placed finish that followed a Premier League title success.

The Guardian refers to a “long-term cultural reboot”. However, the paper do state Potter is safe “as long as the overall direction of travel is positive”. So there is a get-out for the new regime.

Potter will be given time and the support to build the foundations of a club that can be successful for the next decade. And Potter has the peace of mind that he will not be given the bullet should his methods take time to come to fruition.

As long as Potter is seen to be building the blocks of the owners’ vision then the former Swansea man will be safe. Indeed the minimum is a top-four finish. But Chelsea are confident they have the right man to build a squad. But also to improve players and develop youngsters and they will not deviate from that plan.

Potter seen as Chelsea talisman

Boehly, as per The Guardian, is trying to replicate the success he has had at the LA Dodgers. The American businessman was part of a group that bought the Dodgers in 2012.

Boehly appointed Houston-born Friedman in 2014 as president of sporting operations. And they have enjoyed remarkable success with Friedman renowned for developing homegrown talent and improving the people around him.

The Dodgers have also been loyal to head coach Dave Roberts, who was brought in for Don Mattingly in 2015. Between them they have proved to be a brilliant partnership. Indeed Boehly has a similar vision with Potter and his new-to-be appointed sporting director.

It’s a model which has served Boehly well in the US, albeit in a different sport. The test will come if Potter does fail to hit the top four this season.

Only then will we know whether Boehly has the commitment to stand by his man. Or will he break from it with his 10-year plan to grow revenue hitting a bump in the road?

READ MORE: Chelsea transfer news: Graham Potter planning sneaky raid on Man Utd to mark first summer with statement signing

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