Thomas Tuchel sacked by Chelsea after defeat in Champions League opener

The German coach makes a shock departure from Stamford Bridge after a tricky start to the season.

By George Mills Published: 7 September 2022 - 10.56am

Chelsea have announced the departure of head coach Thomas Tuchel just hours after defeat to Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League last night.

The Blues were beaten 1-0 by their Croatian hosts, exclusively live on BT Sport, last night in what was another uncharacteristically poor performance from the west London side.

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Speaking on BT Sport last night, Tuchel, who won both the Champions League and Super Cup during his 18-month tenure at Stamford Bridge, made no suggestion he would not be in charge for Chelsea’s trip to Fulham this weekend.

“I need to find a solution for the next match, of course,” the 49-year-old told BT Sport reporter Archie Rhind-Tutt.

Chelsea's next game will also be exclusively live on BT Sport this Saturday at 12.30pm as they take on the Cottagers in what promises to be an extra spicy west London derby given today's incredible turn of events.

Announcing the news this morning, a statement on Chelsea's club website confirmed Tuchel’s surprise exit.

“On behalf of everyone at Chelsea FC, the Club would like to place on record its gratitude to Thomas and his staff for all their efforts during their time with the Club. 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. 

“Thomas will rightly have a place in Chelsea’s history”
- Chelsea club statement

“Chelsea’s coaching staff will take charge of the team for training and the preparation of our upcoming matches as the Club moves swiftly to appoint a new head coach. 

“There will be no further comment until a new head coach appointment is made.”

It’s been a turbulent few months in west London after the high profile change of ownership unexpectedly required following previous owner Roman Abramovich’s ties to the Russian government and its invasion of Ukraine.

The new consortium, led by businessman Todd Boehly, wasted no time stamping their mark on the team, splashing the cash to the tune of more than £250m over the course of a wild summer of recruitment.

Raheem Sterling, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Kalidou Koulibaly, Wesley Fofana and Marc Cucurella were among the high-profile arrivals although Tuchel was also forced to reckon with the departure of several first team stars including Romelu Lukaku, Antonio Rudiger and Timo Werner.

The former PSG and Borussia Dortmund’s exit comes only weeks after Tuchel confirmed he had held preliminary talks with Boehly about extending his stay at the club.

“There are talks. But I think given the situation where we come from, and where we are in the middle of the transfer period, I think it is the very best if I focus on my team and on sports and on being competitive,” he said last month.

“My people talk to the owners and take care of everything else. You know how glad I am to be here and how much I like it. So it’s a good thing.”

A report by The Telegraph’s Matt Law this morning suggested Tuchel’s sudden departure had been attributed to a deterioration in his relationships with both ownership and several key players.

Early frontrunners to succeed Tuchel include Brighton boss Graham Potter, former Spurs coach Mauricio Pochettino and former Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane.