There was a chorus of surprise when Chelsea moved to appoint former Brighton defender Bruno Saltor as the club’s interim manager following the sacking of Graham Potter.
At around 8pm on Sunday night, the Blues confirmed Potter’s departure in a club statement.
“Chelsea FC has announced that Graham Potter has departed the club,” they wrote. “Graham has agreed to collaborate with the club to facilitate a smooth transition.”
As part of this so-called ‘smooth transition’, a member of Potter’s coaching staff at both Brighton and Chelsea will take charge of the team as interim head coach for the remainder of the 2022/23 campaign.
Bruno Saltor, who announced his retirement as a player in 2019 before working behind the scenes as a player development coach at Brighton, moved to Chelsea with Potter in September last year.
He may not have a great deal of first-team managerial experience under his belt but co-controlling owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali must have faith in the 42-year-old.
They said in the statement: “Along with our incredible fans, we will all be getting behind Bruno and the team as we focus on the rest of the season.
“We have 10 Premier League games remaining and a Champions League quarter final ahead. We will put every effort and commitment into every one of those games so that we can end the season on a high.”
Here’s how social media reacted to Chelsea’s latest appointment.
One fan said: “The club have appointed ex-Brighton player and member of the coaching staff Bruno Saltor (no, me neither, tbh) as interim head coach and apparently ‘Graham has agreed to collaborate with the club to facilitate a smooth transition’. Good luck, Bruno, I suspect you may need it.”
A second wrote: “Ok who had Bruno Saltor being employed as interim head coach at Chelsea in the sweepstakes?” while a third commented: “The new Chelsea Interim. So so bizzare to have Bruno Saltor in charge.”
A fourth added: “Heartbreaking to see so many people not know who Bruno Saltor is. Icon of the Championship.”
In terms of his playing career, Saltor spent the majority of his time in Spain with Espanyol, Lleida, Almeria and Valencia before joining the ranks at Brighton, where he would made over 200 appearances.