Chelsea manager Graham Potter has revealed that he and his family have received death threats following the team’s poor performance in recent months.
Potter disclosed that he had been targeted by an anonymous email account and that the experience had taken a toll on him personally.
Potter, who has previously expressed his belief that he has the toughest job in football, refuted accusations that his calm demeanor in the face of adversity suggests that he does not care about the club.
Speaking at a news conference ahead of Chelsea’s Premier League match at Tottenham on Sunday, Potter challenged his critics by saying:
“People have a perception I don’t care, what’s that based on? How do you know? You could ask my family how life has been for me and for them. It’s been not pleasant at all. I understand supporters go home and they’re annoyed because the team aren’t winning. But I assure you, my life for the last three or four months has been fairly average.”
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The Chelsea manager went on to reveal the extent of the abuse he had received, saying that he had received “not particularly nice emails” that contained death threats directed towards him and his family. He further explained that the pressure from the media and fans had been relentless over the past four months, with journalists constantly asking him if he was under pressure due to the team’s poor performance.
“I’ve had some not particularly nice emails come through, that want me to die and want my kids to die. That’s obviously not pleasant to receive. If you’ve been asked for four months if you’re under pressure because (the media) need to sell stuff – what do you expect, in the end?”
Despite the intense criticism he has faced, Potter remained resolute, stating that he would not buckle under the weight of abuse.
He acknowledged that only wins would change the tide of public opinion but argued that his job was tough, and he suffered as a result. However, he also recognized that life was tough for many people, and the public was not interested in the struggles of Premier League managers. In his words:
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“Life is tough for lots of people. No one really wants to care about Premier League managers. Sometimes life isn’t fair. It’s not like I’m complaining about it. You ask me is it hard, I say yes it is hard. You suffer. You get upset. When you’re in private, you show real emotion with your family.
“There’s a point to be considered, but the world is tough. We’re going through an energy crisis, a cost of living crisis. People are striking every other week. No one wants to hear about the poor old Premier League manager.”
Chelsea has struggled to win games in recent months, with the team winning just two of its last 14 games, despite significant spending in the last two transfer windows.
The team currently sits in 10th place in the 20-team Premier League. Potter was hired in September 2022 to succeed the fired Thomas Tuchel.