Brighton sack Chris Hughton despite manager securing Premier League survival

Chris Hughton has been sacked by Brighton, the club has announced.

The Seagulls secured their place in next season’s top flight despite a late-season defeat to Cardiff almost seeing them dragged in to the bottom three.

A fine FA Cup run saw Brighton beaten 1-0 at Wembley by Manchester City, before Hughton’s men ended their season with a 4-1 defeat to the same opponents.

The former Norwich and Newcastle boss’s assistant Paul Trollope and first-team coach Paul Nevin have also left the club.

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 3 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.

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

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“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.”

Hughton, now 60, took charge of the Seagulls in December 2014.

In his four-and-a-half years with the club, he took them from the Championship to a Premier League side capable of an upset.

Since promotion to the top flight in 2017, they have beaten Manchester United twice as well as Arsenal.

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

“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.

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

Betfair has Graham Potter as a leading contender to replace Hughton, while Phil Neville, Michael O’Neill and Laurent Blanc also feature.

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