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Chelsea’s Graham Potter Says He and His Family Have Received Death Threats From Fans

Chelsea’s Graham Potter Says He and His Family Have Received Death Threats From Fans

COBHAM, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 24: Graham Potter of Chelsea during a press conference at Chelsea Training Ground on February 24, 2023 in Cobham, England. (Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Chelsea manager Graham Potter revealed Friday that both he and his family have received death threats from fans as the Blues sit 10th in the Premier League table with only 31 points after 23 games played.

Potter said during his press conference, via ESPN’s James Olley:

“Things are difficult so nobody wants to hear about the poor old Premier league manager. Nevertheless if you ask me a question about ‘is it hard, is it tough, is it nice to hear,’ as much as I’ve had support, I’ve had some not particularly nice emails come through that want me to die and want my kids to die.

“So that’s obviously not pleasant to receive. But if you’ve asked about it for four months, if you’re under pressure, for four months ‘I’m under pressure, I’m under pressure’, I’m under pressure because you guys [the media] need to sell stuff, what do you expect in the end?

“And if we don’t get the results then obviously that’s what happens. That’s football. That’s how it is. And the challenge for me is ‘OK, how do I conduct myself’? That’s what I always turn round to. The higher you go, the more pressure you have on how you are as pre-season.”

Olley added that a Chelsea spokesperson confirmed the club will be following up with authorities on the abuse Potter has received from fans.

Potter is facing mounting pressure at Stamford Bridge following Chelsea’s 1-0 loss to Southampton, which sits at the bottom of the Premier League table with 18 points, on Feb. 18.

Additionally, the Blues have won just two of their last 14 games and fell to Borussia Dortmund 1-0 in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League round of 16 on Feb. 15.

One of the biggest criticisms of Potter has been “his laid-back image and perceived lack of passion on the sidelines,” according to Sky Sports, though he hasn’t let that bother him during his tenure with the club.

“If people think you can just go from the ninth tier of English football via the fourth tier of Swedish football and climb your way up the pyramid and end up here with uncaring, unpassionate and unemotional personality then maybe they should try it themselves and see how they get on,” Potter said.

With the likes of Thiago Silva, Enzo Fernández, Mason Mount, Kai Havertz, Christian Pulisic, João Félix, Raheem Sterling and Reece James on the roster, there’s no reason for the club to be struggling as much as it has over the last several weeks, and it’ll be interesting to see if it can right the ship moving forward.

Potter has been Chelsea’s manager since September, replacing Thomas Tuchel just six games into the 2022-23 season. At the time, club owner Todd Boehly expressed confidence in the former Brighton & Hove Albion coach:

“We are thrilled to bring Graham to Chelsea. He is a proven coach and an innovator in the Premier League who fits our vision for the club.

“Not only is he extremely talented on the pitch, he has skills and capabilities that extend beyond the pitch which will make Chelsea a more successful club. He has had a major impact at his previous clubs and we look forward to his positive impact at Chelsea. We look forward to supporting him, his coaching team and the squad in realising their full potential in the coming months and years.”

According to Olley, Chelsea is still supportive of Potter, “but are mindful of growing fan unrest.” So while his job appears to be safe for now, that could change at some point down the line.

Chelsea is set to face Tottenham on Sunday and Leeds United on March 4 in Premier League action before facing Dortmund in the second leg of the UEFA Champions League round of 16 on March 7.

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