Brighton ‘hugely disappointed’ at Graham Potter move to Chelsea but issue bold statement on successor

Tony Bloom, January 2018

Brighton chiefs Tony Bloom and David Weir have expressed their frustration at seeing Graham Potter leave for Chelsea, but vowed to “move on quickly”.

Manager Potter has moved to Stamford Bridge on a five-year contract following the sacking of Thomas Tuchel there. Chelsea pulled the plug on the German after Tuesday’s Champions League defeat to Dinamo Zagreb and moved quickly for Potter.

Brighton will reportedly receive £20million in compensation.

The 47-year-old becomes the second manager of the already-eventful Todd Boehly era. Potter admitted he feels “incredibly proud and excited” to make the move to Chelsea.

As for Brighton, Potter leaves the Seagulls fourth in the Premier League table and in the midst of an impressive rise.

Chairman Bloom told Brighton’s official website that he feels “very disappointed” at Potter’s exit and that the “exceptional head coach” will be “hugely missed”.

Bloom added that Potter leaves an “excellent legacy” off the back of a ninth-placed Premier League finish.

As well as Potter, his assistant Billy Reid and his cohort of first-team coaches are leaving Brighton at the same time.

Brighton have appointed Andrew Crofts as interim head coach for Saturday’s Premier League clash against Bournemouth. Former Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana is also part of the interim coaching staff.

Brighton search on for Potter successor

However, the focus for Brighton now is to find a successor.

Luton boss Nathan Jones, Celtic’s Ange Postecoglu and Steve Cooper of Nottingham Forest have all had early mentions.

Brighton’s deputy chairman Paul Barber insisted that the Seagulls are looking to carry on the legacy Potter has left.

“Tony, David and I have already begun work to replace Graham and to secure the very best candidate for the club,” Barber said.

“I have no doubt there will be unprecedented interest in the job, not least because of the excellent work done by Graham but also because of the footballing infrastructure in place at our club.

“I am hugely disappointed to be losing our coaching team, particularly at this time, but I too would like to take this opportunity to thank Graham, Billy, Bjorn, Bruno, Ben and Kyle for their services and wish them well for the future.

“It has been a pleasure working with all of them.”

Potter’s last game in charge was Brighton’s 5-2 win over Leicester at the Amex Stadium last weekend.

New Seagulls boss has busy first spell

Looking at the fixture list, there is no doubt whoever the new Brighton boss becomes faces a tough opening spell.

After they travel to Bournemouth, the Seagulls face Liverpool, Tottenham, Manchester City and Chelsea in four of their next six Premier League games.

It is therefore going to be a baptism of fire for the new coach. It will be pivotal to see how many points the club gets in that period.#

The worry for Brighton is a drop-off from where they were under Potter. It remains unclear how far they will drop – if at all – but there will have to be a transitional period for the new manager.

They will of course have their own ideas for the squad and the transfer market. Although, Brighton’s reputation in recent years means they surely won’t make a hasty appointment.

There will be hope that Brighton can continue what Potter started as their outgoing boss goes on to pastures new.