Graham Potter Set to Leave Swansea for Brighton With £2m Compensation Package Agreed – 90min

Graham Potter Set to Leave Swansea for Brighton With £2m Compensation Package Agreed - 90min

Graham Potter: Brighton set to appoint Swansea manager

Brighton are set to appoint Graham Potter as their new manager after he informed Swansea City that he wants to leave.

Swansea offered Potter, 43, a new contract which would have made him one of the best-paid managers in the Championship, but he felt he could not reject a Premier League job offer.

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Swansea assistant manager Billy Reid, coach Bjorn Hamberg and head of recruitment Kyle Macaulay will join Potter at the Amex Stadium.

Potter was given permission to talk to Brighton after telling Swansea late on Friday that he wanted to leave.

The continuing financial uncertainty at Swansea is thought to have been one of the key factors behind his decision.

Following their relegation, they allowed 16 players to depart last summer and made only five signings.

More players are expected to leave this summer. Wales winger Daniel James is set to be sold and more than £20m of signings will depart on free transfers.

Potter joined Swansea from Swedish side Ostersunds FK in June 2018 and guided them to a 10th-place finish in the Championship despite drastic cost-cutting measures following Premier League relegation.

Hughton, who took over at Brighton in December 2014, led them to the Premier League for the first time in 2017, and they finished 15th in their first season back in the top flight.

It is understood the FA Cup semi‑finalists have met the release figure in Potters Swanseas contract, which still had two years to run following his arrival from Östersund last June, and means the Premier League club will have to pay more than £2m in compensation.

Potter will take over from Chris Hughton, who was sacked less than 24 hours after Brighton lost their last game of the Premier League season to Manchester City and on the back of winning only two top-flight matches in 2019. Albion finished 17th, two points above Cardiff in the last relegation place.

Swansea had hoped Potter could be persuaded to stay and, after discussions over the course of the last week with the clubs American owners, offered him an improved contract in a bid to try to convince him to reject Brightons interest. Although that package would have made him one of the best-paid managers in the Championship, Potters decision was always likely to be based on more than his earning power.

Read more Managing in the Premier League for the first time is an enticing prospect and there is also no escaping the reality of the wider financial constraints at Swansea, who are continuing to pay a heavy price for making some disastrous signings during the 2017-18 season, which ended with relegation from the Premier League.

After moving on 16 players last summer and signing only five, Swansea are now embarking on another cost-cutting exercise and have a £30m hole to fill. Daniel James will be sold – Manchester United is the most likely destination for the Wales international – and there can be no guarantees about the future of other players who have thrived under Potters watch, or any commitment towards investing in strengthening the squad when it is unclear how long it will take to shift high-earners who have little transfer value and are such a drain on the wage bill.

Potter knew and accepted all of that and was fully prepared to work under those conditions again next season until Brighton showed an interest in appointing him. Although Potter was initially torn as to whether to finish the project he started at Swansea or to walk away from the Welsh club, ultimately the Brighton job proved too good a proposition to turn down.

Those working at Championship level rarely get the opportunity to manage in the Premier League without taking a team there by winning promotion, and on top of that Brighton have a reputation for being a stable, well-run club.

Three of the staff who worked closely with Potter at both Östersund and Swansea will follow him to Brighton. Billy Reid, who was the assistant manager at Swansea, Björn Hamberg, who had the title of assistant coach, and Kyle Macaulay, who was the head of recruitment, will form part of a wider compensation package.

Although Dan Ashworth, Brightons technical director, oversees the process of finding a new manager, it is understood that Tony Bloom, the Premier League clubs chairman, has admired Potters work for some time.

In many respects it is a bold decision on Brightons part to appoint Potter, who has spent only spent one season managing in England. Yet Brighton believe that he is one of the brightest young managers in the game and identified him as their number-one target as soon as they made the decision to dismiss Hughton.

Potter forged his reputation in Sweden, where he won three promotions with Östersund and led the club into the Europa League knockout stage. That success prompted Swansea to appoint him last June, after the Welsh club lost their Premier League status and were looking to rebuild.

Despite an exodus of players – eight departed across two chaotic deadline days alone – and being left with a callow and imbalanced squad, Potter led Swansea to a 10th-placed finish in the Championship and into the quarter-finals of the FA Cup. The fact that he did so with a team that played an attractive brand of possession-based football made those achievements all the more impressive.

Trevor Birch, who was appointed Swanseas chairman in March, now has the unenviable task of coming up with a replacement for Potter as well as trying to find buyers for out-of-favour players and reducing the overall head count at the club. Birch will also need to bring in a new head of player recruitment to replace Macaulay and deal with the potentially damaging fallout from Potters departure, which will have come as a huge disappointment to a number of the players as well as the supporters.

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