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No immediate successor lined up by Chelsea for Graham Potter; Bruno Saltor and Bjorn Hamberg staying on — reports

Managing by committee

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Chelsea Training and Press Conference - Tuesday September 13th
Bjorn Hamberg & Bruno Saltor in charge
Photo by Steven Paston/PA Images via Getty Images

The decision to sack Graham Potter was made last night (Saturday), according to multiple reports that have come out in the last few hours, since the club’s official, surprising, yet quite overdue announcement. Potter will not be paid out the full value of his remaining contract, just a “regular severance” (as per The Athletic), whatever that means.

One does wonder why that 2-0 home defeat to Aston Villa, our first in five when looked at in a vacuum, was the one to prompt this choice, though presumably it was the cumulative effect of the past six months that led to the owners and the board arriving at this familiar conclusion. According to the Telegraph, the decision, “fully supported” by the owners was “led” by technical and sporting directors Laurence Stewart and Paul Winstanley, the latter somewhat ironic given his shared history with Potter at Brighton & Hove Albion.

Meanwhile, the players, most of whom found out when we did, were “stunned”, probably because they’ll have to actually start performing now.

Speaking of shared history, only one of Potter’s assistants, Billy Reid is leaving with him. Bjorn Hamberg and Bruno Saltor are staying on and taking interim charge (the latter officially named as our Interim Head Coach), as are presumably all the other pre-Potter coaches who remain — minus Anthony Barry, who remains on leave while his Bayern move gets sorted. Sure you don’t want to take charge here instead, AVB AJB?

The Telegraph’s report seems to suggest that Bruno and Bjorn’s remit extends only through the Liverpool match on Tuesday, but if we don’t have an immediate successor lined up — which we evidently don’t — surely they will have to keep to their interim duties for a while. Not exactly the sort of fresh air we are supposedly looking for, though Roberto Di Matteo was at the Bridge on Saturday, and he’s the prime example of what can happen in such a scenario when the stars align.

Julian Nagelsmann is the obvious name to lead the rumor charge for our next manager — especially considering that Stewart and Christopher Vivell both worked with him at RB Leipzig — though Mauricio Pochettino is the bookies’ favorite. (UPDATE: Nagelsmann shot up to favorite right quick!) Luis Enrique and Zinedine Zidane are two of the more high profile free agents at the minute. Roberto De Zerbi would fit our New Brighton m.o., but hopefully this is now where that stops. We are looking to interview at least a “handful” of potential candidates in an “exhaustive process”, but you know Antonio Conte’s also free, and I, for one, would be here for that drama.

Never a boring day!

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