Former Brighton manager Graham Potter said he felt he had to “seize a new opportunity”, describing his reasons for joining Chelsea in an open letter to fans.
Potter, 47, became Chelsea’s coach on Thursday, after three years at Brighton.
“For some, I realize that a sudden change in football can be hard to accept,” Potter wrote.
“I may not be able to convince all of you to forgive me for my departure – but at least, I will take the opportunity to say thank you,” he said.
“I hope you will understand that at this point in my career I felt I had to take a new opportunity,” added Potter, who replaced Germany’s Thomas Tuchel, who was sacked after Chelsea.
And Potter led Brighton to ninth place last season in the English Premier League, which is the best thing the club has achieved in its history.
The team occupies fourth place this season after winning four times and drawing one time in six matches during the league.
“I feel like a better person and a better coach after the experiences I’ve had here,” Potter said in his open letter on Thursday and posted on his page by Brighton on Sunday.
He said, “The choice of formation or decision was not always perfect. But the club created an environment that gives you space to make mistakes, learn from them and then improve.”
Brighton, led by Potter, won their last game 5-2 against Leicester City on 4 September. “I didn’t know then that it would be the last game, but looking back now, we played really well,” Potter said. “There was a lot of positivity surrounding the club.”
He added: “The past few days have been an unexpected whirlwind. Leaving the training ground for the last time was a touching moment.”