Graham Potter reveals messages wishing death on family as Chelsea boss admits struggle with abuse
Graham Potter and his family have received death threats following Chelsea’s dismal run of form.
The Blues boss has seen a sizeable section of his club’s fans turn, with the club stuck in 10th place having only won two of their last 14 games.
Chelsea’s new owners privately continue to back Potter and are willing to give him time despite a disappointing run of form. Their patience comes in a moment where Potter was booed off the pitch after a recent 1-0 defeat to Southampton.
Speaking ahead of a Premier League match away at Tottenham this weekend, Potter admits the death threats to him and his three children have been challenging mentally.
He said: “The world is tough for everybody. We’re going through an energy crisis, a cost of living crisis. People are striking every other week. Things are difficult so nobody wants to hear about the poor old Premier league manager.
“Nevertheless, you ask me a question about ‘is it hard, is it tough, is it nice to hear?’ As much as I’ve had support, I’ve had some not particularly nice emails come through that want me to die and want my kids to die. So that’s obviously not pleasant to receive.
“That’s football. That’s how it is. And the challenge for me is ‘Ok, how do I conduct myself’? That’s what I always turn round to. The higher you go, the more pressure you have on how you are as pre-season.”
“My message is that you have got to take the situation for what it is, take the criticism, take the position that we are in, which is that it should be better.
“Try to have a perspective but at the same time acknowledge the criticism and bad feeling. That’s how it should be.”
It is understood that Chelsea have and will continue to offer Potter any support he needs to handle the situation but will leave him to decide whether to involve the police.
Potter accepts that a certain amount of abuse is part of the job when falling short of expectations but it is one that he doesn’t enjoy and has been a challenge for him and his family to overcome.
“It’s a challenge and if you go to work and somebody is swearing abuse at you it’s not going to be pleasant,” he continued. “If you’re referred to as the worst person in the history of the club.
“You can say ‘oh I don’t care’, but you know I’m lying. Everyone does care what people think because we are hard-wired to be socially connected.
“So there is an element of that and I want to succeed here so it’s nonsense this notion that I don’t care, so it’s ‘ok where does that come from? Where is your evidence on that?’
“Ask my family. Because people have a perception that you don’t care? How do you know? And I would ask you to ask my family how life has been for me and for them. It has not been pleasant at all.
“I understand that supporters go home and they are really annoyed because their team is not winning. But I assure you my life for the past three or four months has been fairly average, apart from the fact that I am really grateful for this experience.”