Brighton & Hove Albion chairman Tony Bloom believes Graham Potter has left “an excellent legacy for his successor” at the club following his departure to Chelsea.
The West Londoners confirmed on Thursday afternoon that they have appointed the 47-year-old on a five-year contract after sacking Thomas Tuchel on Wednesday morning.
Potter leaves the Amex Stadium after just over three successful years with the Seagulls, where he was renowned for adopting an attractive brand of football as well as developing young players.
Brighton have confirmed that Potter’s assistant Billy Reid, first-team coaches Bjorn Hamberg and Bruno, goalkeeping coach Ben Roberts and assistant head of recruitment Kyle Macaulay have also left the club.
Under-21 coach Andrew Crofts will now take charge of the senior team on an interim basis and he will be supported by his assistant Shannon Ruth, set-play coach Nick Stanley, Adam Lallana and assistant goalkeeping coach Jack Stern.
Speaking to the club’s official website on Potter’s departure, Bloom said: “I am very disappointed that Graham will be leaving us. He has done exceptionally well over the past three-and-a-bit seasons, he is an exceptional head coach and an exceptional person. He will be hugely missed at our football club.
Head coach Graham Potter is leaving the club after deciding to join Chelsea.
Also departing are his assistant Billy Reid, first-team coaches Bjorn Hamberg and Bruno, goalkeeping coach Ben Roberts and assistant head of recruitment Kyle Macaulay.
— Brighton & Hove Albion (@OfficialBHAFC) September 8, 2022
“He leaves an excellent legacy for his successor with the club in its highest ever position, and on the back of leading us to our highest finish in the club’s history last season.
“I would like to thank Graham, Billy, Bjorn, Bruno, Ben and Kyle for their work here, and wish them all the very best for the future.
“While our attention is now on appointing Graham’s successor as head coach our immediate focus, of course, is on Saturday’s game at Bournemouth and supporting Andrew Crofts as interim head coach.”
Deputy chairman Paul Barber added: “Tony, David and I have already begun work to replace Graham and to secure the very best candidate for the club.
“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.”
Speaking after his appointment as Chelsea head coach, Potter expressed his gratitude to Brighton and Bloom in particular for allowing him to make the switch to Stamford Bridge.
“I am incredibly proud and excited to represent Chelsea FC, this fantastic football club,” Potter told the Blues’ official website.
“I am very excited to partner with Chelsea’s new ownership group and look forward to meeting and working with the exciting group of players and to develop a team and culture that our amazing fans can be proud of.
“I would also like to place my sincere thanks to Brighton & Hove Albion for allowing me this opportunity and in particular Tony Bloom and all the players, staff and supporters for their continued support during my time at the club.”
Potter will be in charge of his first Chelsea game on Saturday lunchtime when they face Fulham at Craven Cottage in a West London derby, while Brighton – who sit three points ahead of Chelsea in the Premier League table – will prepare without a first-team manager for their trip to Bournemouth.