‘I felt I had to grasp a new opportunity’: Graham Potter asks Brighton fans for forgiveness


‘I felt I had to grasp a new opportunity’: Graham Potter asks Brighton fans for forgiveness after leaving the Amex to become Chelsea boss as he pays tribute to the Seagulls for ‘three wonderful years’ together

  • Graham Potter has thanked Brighton fans following his departure to join Chelsea
  • The Englishman explained his reasons for leaving in an open letter to Brighton
  • Potter admitted he had to ‘grasp a new opportunity’ when Chelsea came calling
  • The 47-year-old signed a five year deal at Stamford Bridge on Thursday 

Graham Potter has pleaded with Brighton fans to forgive him for leaving the club to become Chelsea’s new manager.

Potter, 47, signed a five-year deal at Stamford Bridge on Thursday to succeed Thomas Tuchel, who was sacked earlier in the week.

In an open letter written on Thursday and published on Brighton’s official website on Sunday, Potter said he would cherish ‘three wonderful years’ at Brighton but accepted some fans would not be able to forgive him.

Potter said: ‘This has been three wonderful years with a club that has changed my life and I want to take a moment to say goodbye to all of you who have made it such a special period of my career.

Graham Potter has written an open letter to Brighton fans following his exit for Chelsea

The Seagulls currently occupy fourth place in the Premier League table after a great start

The Seagulls currently occupy fourth place in the Premier League table after a great start

‘I bid farewell to a great club and one that will always mean so much to me and my family. For some I recognise that the change that comes so suddenly in football can be hard to accept.

‘I may not be able to persuade you all to forgive my departure – but I would at least like to take the chance to say thank you.’

Former Ostersunds and Swansea boss Potter guided Brighton to ninth place in the Premier League last season – the club’s highest ever top-flight finish – and they sit fourth in the current table.

He said his players ‘went above and beyond’ and paid tribute to the Seagulls’ fans, their board of directors and club staff.

Potter spent three years at Brighton during which he helped to transform the club

Potter spent three years at Brighton during which he helped to transform the club

‘I hope that you will understand that at this stage of my career, I felt I had to grasp a new opportunity.

‘I would like to thank (chairman) Tony Bloom, (chief executive) Paul Barber and the directors for the opportunity they gave me three years ago and then the unswerving support that came with it. 

‘My gratitude also to Dan Ashworth and David Weir, two first-class technical directors.’

Potter said he and the club had shared ‘some brilliant moments’, citing wins against Tottenham, Arsenal, Manchester City and Manchester United, and congratulated his successor at the club, ‘whoever that may be’.

Potter replaces Thomas Tuchel (pictured) at Chelsea after he was sacked last week

Potter replaces Thomas Tuchel (pictured) at Chelsea after he was sacked last week

The Englishman has signed a five-year deal at Stamford Bridge to become their new manager

The Englishman has signed a five-year deal at Stamford Bridge to become their new manager

He added: ‘Albion fans know that with Tony, Paul and David, the club is in safe hands.

‘To my successor, whoever that may be, I would say, ‘congratulations’. You’ll be working for a great club with a fantastic squad, supported by a great chairman and board.

‘The squad are playing at a high level and will get better. Most of all, the supporters will get behind the team home and away.

‘To everyone at Brighton & Hove Albion: thank you. It has been a pleasure and honour to serve the club over the last three years. I wish you every success going forward.’

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