Graeme Souness lays into Todd Boehly decision as details of Thomas Tuchel power struggle emerge

Todd Boehly’s decision to sack Thomas Tuchel and replace him with Graham Potter so early into the season, and so soon after the transfer window, has been criticised by Graeme Souness.

Thomas Tuchel has been painted in a bad light by the “PR people” at Chelsea following his sacking by co-owner Todd Boehly, according to Graeme Souness.

Tuchel was dismissed by Chelsea last week in the wake of the 1-0 defeat by Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League. He was replaced by Brighton boss Graham Potter less than 24 hours later and Boehly is now trying to hire a sporting director.

The German manager won 60 of his 100 games in charge of Chelsea, guiding the club to the Champions League, while finishing as runner-up in the FA Cup on two occasions. Tuchel has since said he was “devastated” to lose his job at a club who will retain a “special place” in his heart.

Boehly took over Chelsea after his consortium, which is financed by Clearlake Capital, won the race to buy the club from Roman Abramovich in May. The American billionaire has been working as the interim sporting director at the club for the past few months and wields lots of power across all departments following the departures of Marina Granovskaia, Petr Cech and Bruce Buck over the summer.

Former Liverpool midfielder Souness has given his scathing assessment of Chelsea’s decision to sack Tuchel so early in the season, after they had just spent over £200million on players to bolster his squad. Souness feels that Tuchel has been unfairly treated by his old employers.

“I think they got rid of the wrong man,” he said on talkSPORT. “I would have kept him. I don’t believe that the stories coming out of Chelsea are anywhere near the real picture. I think the PR people at Chelsea have done a number on Tuchel to paint the new owners in a good light.

“I don’t feel sorry for Tuchel, because he’s a big boy and he took a job at a big football club where the pressure is on from day one. But I think they will rue that.”

Bild have reported that there was friction between Tuchel and Boehly during the latter stages of the summer transfer window. Tuchel was reportedly irritated at how long it took to wrap up the £75m deal for Wesley Fofana. Boehly’s decision to send the defender to the USA for his medical was reportedly viewed as a demonstration of power by Tuchel.

Souness added: “Boehly – he’s been there two minutes and he knows about soccer now. He’s been making football decisions which (shaking head), which, no, are not for me. I think he’ll rue the day.”

Chelsea’s statement after sacking Tuchel hinted at the reasons behind the decision. It read: “Thomas will rightly have a place in Chelsea’s history after winning the Champions League, the Super Cup and Club World Cup in his time here. As the new ownership group reaches 100 days since taking over the club, and as it continues its hard work to take the club forward, the new owners believe it is the right time to make this transition.”

 

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