Hughton sacked as Brighton manager

Hughton spent four-and-a-half-years in charge of Brighton. (Reuters pic)

LONDON: Chris Hughton was sacked as manager of Brighton and Hove Albion after four-and-a-half years at the helm, the Premier League club said in a statement on Monday.

Hughton led Brighton into the top flight in 2017, ending a 34-year absence, and they have just survived their second season despite failing to win any of their last nine games.

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

“Chris has done an excellent job, 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 successive seasons.”

Hughton’s final game in charge was Sunday’s 4-1 home defeat by title-winning Manchester City.

Brighton, who reached this season’s FA Cup semi-final, ended two points above the relegation zone with 36 points.

“Our run of three wins from 23 Premier League matches put our status at significant risk,” Bloom added.

“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 is the seventh Premier League manager to lose his job this season. The club also confirmed that his assistant Paul Trollope and first-team coach Paul Nevin had also left.

Former Ireland international fullback Hughton, who enjoyed a long playing career with Tottenham Hotspur, joined Brighton in December 2014 with the team struggling near the bottom of the second-tier Championship.

The following season he took them into the promotion playoffs and a year later they were promoted automatically as runner-up behind Newcastle United, the club he once managed.

Brighton finished a creditable 15th last season but have laboured in their second campaign, struggling to score goals.