Todd Boehly is blaming Thomas Tuchel but the fault is his

GRAEME SOUNESS: Todd Boehly is blaming Thomas Tuchel but the fault is his… the American owner’s £300m spending spree was mad and he does not get our game

  • Thomas Tuchel was sacked after his 100th game in charge as Chelsea manager
  • The Blues lost their third successive game on the road against Dinamo Zagreb 
  • But Todd Boehly had decided to sack the German  before Tuesday’s 1-0 defeat

The dismissal of Thomas Tuchel doesn’t surprise me because it’s so typical of the way Todd Boehly has decided to run Chelsea.

Boehly is a very wealthy man who is entrepreneurial and who I’m sure has made money in many different areas. A man who has looked at football and thought, ‘this is a business which is straightforward and simple — and because I’m so smart in so many other aspects of life, I can handle this’.

So he personally supervises the spending of almost £300million, wonders why it’s not working and, as always, the victim is the manager. For me, the alarm bells were ringing from the minute Boehly announced he was appointing himself Chelsea’s interim sporting director.

New controlling owner Todd Boehly (right) has waited just 100 days before changing manager

As I said in these pages on Saturday, Boehly decided that he did not need three people at the club who had been so successful at running it — Bruce Buck, Marina Granovskaia and Petr Cech. Whether he got rid of them or they left of their own volition, at that point he has to surround himself with football people.

It will clearly take some time for Boehly to discover that it’s not as simple as he thought, that recruitment is not just about spending large amounts of money and that recruitment is also the most important part of running a football club.

At the risk of sounding boring, try getting Sir Alex Ferguson out of retirement, send him to the LA Dodgers and ask him to put a valuation on baseball players playing at other clubs, with a view to building a team. He wouldn’t know where to begin.

Thomas Tuchel was handed £300million to spend on players in the summer transfer window

Boehly has laid the blame for Chelsea’s poor start to the season at Tuchel’s door but he is the one to blame for some very questionable signings, paying way over the odds for Kalidou Koulibaly, Marc Cucurella and Wesley Fofana.

Chelsea never operated the English business model of football management under Roman Abramovich. 

He sacked 14 managers — some, such as Roberto Di Matteo, who had just won trophies: the biggest one of them all, the Champions League, along with the FA Cup in 2012. 

Boehly joins a long list of foreign owners convinced they can be an instant success in football

But that hire-and-fire regime was successful because Abramovich eventually brought people who knew the football business and understood the importance of recruitment.That’s a large part of why they were so successful.

Boehly joins a long list of wealthy people who have laboured under the delusion that they can come into our football business and be an instant success. Like Ellis Short. Like Mel Morris. Like Farhad Moshiri. They never got it.

This is what Graham Potter must now weigh up, as he holds talks about becoming Tuchel’s successor. Potter has done a fabulous job at Brighton. But to go from managing the players he’s got at Brighton to managing the players in that Chelsea dressing room, at this time, will be very, very different for him.

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