Wednesday 13 November 2019

Experts express shock at Hughton's Brighton exit

Former Brighton manager Chris Hughton Photo: Reuters/John Sibley/File Photo
Former Brighton manager Chris Hughton Photo: Reuters/John Sibley/File Photo

Brighton have sacked manager Chris Hughton following the club's poor run of form in 2019.

Albion scraped Premier League survival by two points following just two wins from 18 top-flight matches since the turn of the year.

Sunday's 4-1 defeat at home to champions Manchester City proved to be the final game of Hughton's four-and-a-half-year tenure.

Seagulls chairman Tony Bloom said: "Undoubtedly, this has been one of the most difficult decisions I have had to make as chairman of Brighton & Hove Albion, but ultimately one I have made due to how we struggled in the second half of the season.

"Our run of three wins from 23 Premier League matches put our status at significant risk.

"It is with that in mind, and the performances during that period, that I now feel it's the right time for a change."

Brighton & Hove Albion have confirmed that Chris Hughton has left the club with immediate effect.

Hughton's assistant Paul Trollope and first-team coach Paul Nevin have also left.

Hughton replaced Sami Hyypia at the Amex Stadium in December 2014, with Brighton just above the Sky Bet Championship relegation zone. He led Albion back to the top flight for the first time since 1983 in 2017 with a second-placed finish.

The 60-year-old signed a contract extension until 2021 last May having secured Premier League survival and the club spent in excess of £60million on new players last summer.

Football legends took to social media to express their dismay at the sacking of the former Ireland international.

Ex-Liverpool star John Barnes labelled Hughton's sacking as "ridiculous." While Hughton's former Ireland team-mate Paul McGrath tweeted: "What a great spokes person John Barnes is in football, I wish I could speak up for us colored footballers like he has today. Much Respect to John and Chris Hughton who are able to articulate our struggle!"

Former Tottenham and Barcelona, Gary Lineker, not a tv presenter, added: "He did a fine job and will be a tough act to follow."

Swansea manager Graham Potter is the clear early favourite among bookmakers, with England Women head coach Phil Neville and Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill also being linked with the post.

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