Mauricio Pochettino Chelsea exit sees Todd Boehly ignore own advice from just last week

Mauricio Pochettino is out at <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Chelsea;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Chelsea</a> as Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali ring further changes -Credit:Getty Images
Mauricio Pochettino is out at Chelsea as Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali ring further changes -Credit:Getty Images

It was only last week that Chelsea co-owner Todd Boehly sat on a stage in Qatar and extolled the virtues of creating a culture of stability as a way to success.

Fast forward to Tuesday and Mauricio Pochettino is out at Stamford Bridge, a mutual parting of the ways between the manager and the club after the Argentine reportedly had an end-of-season appraisal with another Chelsea co-owner, Behdad Eghbali, and sporting directors Paul Winstanley and Laurence Stewart.

Had such a decision been made before the turn of the year then maybe it would have been a little more understandable, with Chelsea having struggled in the same fashion as last year up until that point. But post Christmas saw the team, which has added some £1bn-plus worth of talent under the Boehly/Clearlake Capital regime over the past two years, begin to gel.

A sixth-placed finish from where they were pre-Christmas, 10th, secured Europa League football, while the club reached the final of the Carabao Cup and the semi-finals of the FA Cup, beaten 1-0 by Manchester City.

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The club’s form since Boxing Day was the fourth-best in the Premier League, with 41 points gleaned, a haul only bettered by the final top three of Manchester City, Arsenal, and Liverpool.

Pochettino’s departure means that Boehly and Eghbali are now on the hunt for the third permanent manager in three years, having sacked Thomas Tuchel, and Graham Potter, and now parted ways with Pochettino, with Frank Lampard having a disastrous caretaker spell in between all that. It has been anything but stable, and that has hurt Chelsea’s revenue-generating potential due to missing out on lucrative prize money from the Champions League, which the owners were absolutely banking on when they acquired the club as a source of regular income. It is now two seasons without it.

The profit and sustainability rule issues have also come to the fore, with the heavy outlay on players, while mitigated by strong player trading and the selling of physical assets such as the club’s hotel to a holding company of the club owners, meaning that there may well have to be some sales of academy graduates such as Conor Gallagher and Trevoh Chalobah to ease issues this summer. Both would represent pure profit for the club in accounting terms, but both have been huge parts of the turnaround in 2024 under Pochettino.

Speaking at the Qatar Economic Forum only last week, Boehly, who drew comparisons with the approach of the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team he is also a co-owner of, spoke on the need for stability.

“Winning is clearly the most important thing,” he said. “We're focused on winning.

“The second thing is having what we think is a really young and exciting team that's going to be around together for a long time.

“If you look at franchises that dominate for periods of time, it's because they have real stability, real stability in the team. Real stability in the front office, real stability in the coaching to be able to lay the groundwork, to be able to start with the stability on the team, by having a young team that has longer than average contracts.

“We're thinking a lot about how do we have stability, how do we have a core?

“The Dodgers are the same thing right now. If you look at our top three players in the lineup, you've got Mookie Betts, who we signed to a ten-year contract. We've got Shohei Ohtani batting second, who is also on a ten-year contract, and we got Freddie Freeman, who's on an eight-year contract. With the duration that we have for those guys to develop together is really what we think makes that.

“Potential obviously doesn't guarantee anything, but it's laying the framework for the foundation for something that has the ability to come together as it figures itself out.”

Boehly and Eghbali will now have to hope that the next incumbent of the Stamford Bridge hot seat delivers the kind of results that allow for the stability that they crave. It has been a series of expensive mistakes thus far.