On Monday, Brighton Hove Albion sacked boss Chris Hughton, who had been in charge at the Amex Stadium for four-and-half-years. Club owner Tony Bloom took the decision following the Seagulls winless run of nine games at the end of the campaign.
That poor run of form, plus the fact they had won just three times in their last 23 Premier League games were crucial in the decision to sack the former Newcastle boss. The Seagulls ended the season just two points outside the relegation zone.
Hughton had done a good job at Brighton
Chris Hughton seems to be a very affable and likeable guy. Those sort of personality traits do not always translate well for football management. However, Hughton is a very decent coach and has done a good job on the south coast.
In his first campaign with Brighton, the 60-year-old steered the Seagulls away from relegation to League One from the Championship. Since then he has helped them to promotion to the top-flight and kept them in the Premier League for two campaigns.
However, this season’s brush with relegation was enough to convince Brighton owner, Tony Bloom, he needed to dispense with Hughton’s services ahead of the summer.
Brighton went backwards last season
For all the good work Hughton did at Brighton, last season the club went backwards instead of forwards. The Seagulls spent big by the standards of clubs of their level. They brought in nine players, including signing Iranian winger Alireza Jahanbakhsh for a club-record fee reported to have been around £17million.
None of the signings of the last 18 months have proven that successful, which has played a big part in the decision to sack Hughton. Reportedly the former Brighton boss and owner Bloom had a close working relationship.
If that is the case, then it will have been a difficult decision to sack the 60-year-old. Maybe if the pair did not have such a close relationship then Hughton may have found himself out of the door quicker than he did.
The timing of the decision at least gives everybody a chance to re-evaluate this summer. Hughton can look for another job and the Seagulls can bring a coach to attempt to revive the teams flagging fortunes.
Brighton begin the search for a new boss
The new Brighton boss has a big job on his hands reviving the team’s fortunes, which is probably why Hughton was sacked when he was.
If there is a right time to sack a boss then it is before the summer transfer window opens. It gives the Seagulls a chance to bring in a new boss, who can then bring sign new players and implement their ideas.
There are already a number of names doing the rounds in the media. However, Swansea boss Graham Potter is currently the favourite for the job. Potter rose to prominence as head coach Ostersunds in Sweden. The former Stoke star helped the Swedish side unprecedented heights in the Swedish game and in Europe. Whoever the next Seagulls boss is, they are unlikely to hire a man with more dignity than Hughton.
The decision to sack him may well seem harsh. However, considering the team’s results towards the end of the campaign, it really came as little surprise.
Was Brighton correct in sacking Chris Hughton?