Chelsea have sacked manager Graham Potter, the London club said on Sunday after a string of poor results left the expensively-assembled team 11th in the Premier League.
Potter had been signed by Chelsea’s new ownership in September after they prised him away from Brighton & Hove Albion but the Englishman lasted 31 games, winning only 12, before the owners pulled the trigger.
While Potter oversaw wins in the Champions League where they topped their group after beating AC Milan twice and knocked out Borussia Dortmund, their league form nosedived as they fell out of the top four and into the bottom half of the table.
His last game in charge was Chelsea’s 2-0 loss at home to Aston Villa on Saturday which led to boos and jeers from the fans at Stamford Bridge as the result left them 12 points off the top four and in danger of missing out on Europe next season.
“Graham has agreed to collaborate with the club to facilitate a smooth transition,” Chelsea said in a statement.
“In his time with the club, Graham has taken us to the quarter final of the Champions League, where we will face Real Madrid. Chelsea would like to thank Graham for all his efforts and contribution and wish him well for the future.
“Bruno Saltor will take charge of the team as interim head coach.”
Saltor’s first game in charge is on Tuesday at home to eighth-placed Liverpool, who sit four points above them.
“Along with our incredible fans, we will all be getting behind Bruno and the team as we focus on the rest of the season,” co-controlling owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali said.
“We have 10 Premier League games remaining and a Champions League quarter-final ahead. We will put every effort and commitment into every one of those games so that we can end the season on a high.”
Potter is the 12th manager to be sacked in the Premier League this season with the announcement coming hours after relegation-threatened Leicester City parted ways with Brendan Rodgers by mutual agreement.
The departures of Rodgers and Potter set a new Premier League record for most dismissals in a season, beating the 10 that happened in four other seasons, most recently in 2017-18.
Potter was a surprise choice to replace Thomas Tuchel who was sacked by the club in September after a poor start to the season. He initially impressed as Chelsea went nine games unbeaten before a 4-1 hammering at Brighton on October 30.
Since then it has been a struggle for Potter who failed to get the best out of a squad that had been heavily reinforced over two transfer windows in which owners Boehly and Clearlake Capital splashed more than 600 million euros ($650.76 million) on new players.
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