New Chelsea manager Graham Potter has penned a farewell letter to the fans of his former club Brighton & Hove Albion, asking for forgiveness for his abrupt departure and hoping they understood his reasons.
Potter was confirmed as Chelsea manager on Thursday, just over 24 hours after the London club sacked Thomas Tuchel.
I hope that you will understand that at this stage of my career, I felt I had to grasp a new opportunity.
— Graham Potter after leaving Brighton to join Chelsea
The Englishman, who has earned a reputation as a coach who can significantly improve his players, led Brighton to their best top-flight finish last season when the south coast club finished ninth in the Premier League.
“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,” Potter wrote.
Potter’s last match as Brighton manager was a 5-2 win over Leicester City that moved them up to fourth in the table, three points above Chelsea.
“I did not know at the time that it would be the end, but looking back now we played so well. There was so much positivity around the club,” Potter added.
“The last few days have been an unexpected whirlwind. Leaving the training ground for the last time was a poignant moment.
“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.”