Monday, 20 May 2019

Potter replaces Hughton as Brighton coach

Brighton have confirmed the appointment of Graham Potter as new head coach.

The Seagulls parted ways with Chris Hughton last week after he guided them to safety in the Premier League, finishing 17th in the top-flight - two points above third-bottom Cardiff.

Potter was immediately touted as a potential replacement for Hughton, despite only taking over at Swansea last July on a three-year deal.

He has joined Brighton on a contract that runs until 2023 and will see Bjorn Hamberg, recruitment analyst Kyle Macaulay and assistant coach Billy Reid, who all worked with him at Swansea, join his background staff.

"I was sold by the long-term vision and passion shown by [chairman] Tony Bloom, [chief executive] Paul Barber and [technical director] Dan Ashworth," Potter told the club's website after his move was confirmed.

"The ideas and plans they have for the future of this football club excited me; I am thrilled and honoured to be a part of it.

“This club has been on an incredible journey and my aim along with Bjorn [Hamberg], Kyle [Macauley] and Billy [Reid], is to ensure the great work that has gone before us is built on, as we strive to cement our place in the Premier League for many years to come.”

The 44-year-old impressed during an eight-year spell in charge of Swedish side Ostersund, who he guided to second and third division titles and then to the last 32 of the Europa League in 2017-18.

Swansea were said to have rejected Brighton's initial attempts to land the former Southampton, West Brom and Stoke full-back and reportedly offered him a new contract to fight off interest after leading them to a 10th place finish in the second tier.

And his new chairman Bloom is excited to work with one of the country's most promising managers, saying: "We are delighted to have secured the services of one of the brightest young English coaches. Graham Potter has an excellent record of developing teams with an attractive playing style, fierce determination and a strong collective spirit.

"We are excited about our third successive season in the Premier League and we now wish to build on the solid foundations laid by Chris Hughton. We believe that Graham is an excellent fit for our club and we are very much looking forward to working with him."

Meanwhile, Swansea chairman Trevor Birch said the Championship team are disappointed to see him leave so soon.

"We received a request from Brighton last week to speak to Graham over the vacant managerial position at the club," he said.

"We had absolutely no desire to lose the services of Graham after the excellent work he had done over the course of his debut season. We therefore declined Brighton’s initial request to speak to him.
"We then spoke to Graham in length over the request. These discussions included the offer of a new, improved contract and certain assurances regarding future squad strengthening. These assurances would have had to sit within our current financial budget, but we were confident that by working together we could build on the excellent progress the team made last season.

"Unfortunately, following those amicable discussions, Graham expressed a desire to challenge himself in the Premier League and we reluctantly allowed him to speak to Brighton after agreeing a compensation package.

"It goes without saying that we are very disappointed to lose Graham and members of his backroom staff, but we would like to thank him for the excellent work he did during our first season of transition and we wish him well at Brighton."

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