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Brighton & Hove Albion sack manager Chris Hughton

Brighton sack manager Chris Hughton
© Reuters
The Seagulls finished 17th in the Premier League, two points above the relegation zone.

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 told the club website: “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.”

Hughton replaced Sami Hyypia at the Amex Stadium in December 2014, with Brighton just above the Sky Bet Championship relegation zone.

After defeat in the play-off semi-finals in 2016, Hughton led Albion back to the top flight for the first time since 1983 the following season 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.

Chris Hughton guided Brighton to the FA Cup semi-finals, where they lost 1-0 to Pep Guardiola's Manchester City at Wembley
Chris Hughton guided Brighton to the FA Cup semi-finals, where they lost 1-0 to Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City at Wembley (Nick Potts/PA)

Despite a decent first half of the season and a run to the FA Cup semi-finals, league form tailed off and left Albion in serious danger of the drop before safety was secured on the penultimate weekend of the season.

“Chris has done an excellent job over the past four-and-a-half years,” added Bloom.

“First stabilising our club, reaching the play-offs in his first full season, securing our first-ever promotion to the Premier League, and retaining our status in two successive seasons.”

Hughton leaves Brighton along with assistant manager Paul Trollope and first-team coach Paul Nevin.

The club have confirmed that the search for a successor to the former Newcastle, Birmingham and Norwich boss is already under way.

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.

“Chris will always be very fondly remembered by Albion staff and fans as one of our club’s finest and most-respected managers,” continued Bloom.

“I would like to wish Chris, Paul and Paul – who have all worked extremely hard throughout their time here – every success for the future, and thank them on behalf of everyone at the club.

“They will always be welcome at the Amex, and will be remembered here with great affection.”

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