Chelsea ‘not considering’ Graham Potter sack as Boehly steps down as sporting director

Chelsea owner Todd Boehly claps the players Credit: Alamy
Chelsea owner Todd Boehly claps the players Credit: Alamy

The Chelsea board is not considering removing Graham Potter as manager despite Sunday’s 4-0 FA Cup loss to Manchester City as it retains belief that he can turn the club’s form around, according to the PA news agency.

There was vocal disapproval from visiting supporters at the Etihad as they lost for the sixth time in nine games in all competitions, with the Blues now out of both cup competitions and trailing by 10 points in the race to qualify for the Champions League.

Co-owner Todd Boehly has stepped down from his role as interim sporting director to be replaced by director of global talent Paul Winstanley and technical director Christopher Vivell.

Chelsea have won just once in their last seven domestic fixtures, with fans singing the name of former head coach Thomas Tuchel during the defeat to City.

But there currently are no plans to sack Potter and seek a third manager of the season, with the board believing that nothing has changed and that he remains the right man to get the best out of the club’s huge summer transfer outlay.

Boehly, who led the £250million spending spree alongside Tuchel, will now hand over to Winstanley, who joined from Potter’s former club Brighton in November, and Vivell, who arrived from RB Leipzig’s recruitment team in December.

Chelsea’s difficult season has seen their squad decimated by injuries, with 10 first-team players unavailable for Sunday’s game including Raheem Sterling and £75m summer signing Wesley Fofana.

Reece James, Ben Chilwell and N’Golo Kante are also long-term absentees.

Graham Potter admitted after the FA Cup defeat to Manchester City that his Chelsea side “are not in a great moment”.

“The first half was painful and tough for us all,” the Chelsea manager said. “We were second best to a very, very good side. We are not in a great moment and even though it was a cagey first 20 minutes we couldn’t attack the backline well enough, we couldn’t attack as well as we would like. Manchester City are very good at stopping you doing that but at the same time we struggled.

“In terms of the Premier League we have lost four matches – to Newcastle away, when we had nine players unavailable, we lost 1-0 to Arsenal, we lost on a bad day to Brighton and we lost to Manchester City. We have also drawn to Manchester United and Brentford so the results in a small space of time aren’t positive.

“You can make excuses and look for reasons or say it isn’t good enough. Both of those answers are correct. We have to keep improving and stick together because clearly we are suffering as a football club and it’s not nice at all. But that’s where we are at the moment.”

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