Chelsea might face a world record settlement if Todd Boehly reverses Graham Potter’s decision.
The head coach is under intense scrutiny following Sunday’s setback at the hands of Tottenham Hotspur, but the club would have to pay a large compensation package if they opted to make a change in the dugout.
Chelsea chairman Todd Boehly is keen to give the embattled head coach more time to turn things around.
But, if results do not improve quickly and Chelsea decides to part ways with the 47-year-old, it will cost the club an estimated £50 million – a record payout for a managerial dismissal.
This is in addition to the £22 million in compensation they paid Brighton in September to release him and a five-man backroom crew from their contracts. There was a world record charge as well. Potter, whose team has won only two of their last 15 games in all competitions, agreed to a five-year contract extension at Stamford Bridge worth almost £60 million.
During Roman Abramovich’s reign, Chelsea grew accustomed to making large payouts to terminated head coaches, with the most recent being £26.6 million to Antonio Conte and his staff in 2018. Yet, if Potter’s contract is canceled, his remuneration would be nearly twice.
Potter was put under even more pressure after his team’s thrashing at the hands of rivals Tottenham on Sunday.
It was their third straight loss, extending their winless streak to six games. Chelsea spent an eye-watering £320 million in the January transfer window, but Potter is struggling to organize his assault, and the squad has only scored four goals in 11 games since the turn of the year.
A petition has been launched calling on Boehly and the club’s owners to let him go, just 48 hours after Potter revealed how the position has affected his mental health.
“I’ve sat here for four months answering questions about pressure,” Potter said on Friday. “When the results are like they are, you have to accept criticism. But that’s not to say it’s easy at all. Your family life suffers, your mental life suffers, your personality. It’s hard.”
Potter revealed that he had received emails from people wishing he was dead and that he had spoken with West Ham manager David Moyes about how to deal with the pressure and abuse.
“If you go to work and somebody is swearing at you it’s not going to be pleasant,” Potter said. “If you’re referred to as the worst person in the history of the club. Everyone does care what people think. We’re hard-wired to be socially connected. I want to succeed here. There’s this nonsense I don’t care. My response would be ‘Where’s your evidence on that?’
“Not that I’d let you do it, but you can ask my family how my life has been for me and for them. It’s been not pleasant at all. I understand. Supporters go home and they’re really annoyed because the team aren’t winning but I assure you my life for the last three or four months has been fairly average, apart from the fact I’m really grateful for this experience.”