Written by Barry Spence of Time Added On
Within hours of the final whistle of the 2018/19 Premier League season the Brighton & Hove Albion board acted swiftly and told Chris Hughton, assistant manager Paul Trollope and first-team coach Paul Nevin to clear their desks. Brighton having played their part on the last match day, were seen off by a rampant Man City with the title in sight. Glen Murray’s header did provide a shock lead and gave Liverpool the faintest of hopes, even it was just for a few seconds.
Yes, they were on a poor run of form that saw them victorious in just 3 of their final 23 league games, but they were safe from relegation and did make the semi finals of the FA Cup. But come on, sacked?
2014-15: Kept Brighton in the Championship
2015-16: Guided them to the play-offs
2016-17: Promoted to the Premier League for the first time
2017-18: Secured safety with a more than credible 15th place finish
2018-19: Reached first FA Cup semi-final since 1983
An overall win record of 41% from his 215 games in charge.
Chairman Tony Bloom has openly stated that their status was put “at significant risk”. Dress it up how you want, tell everyone how difficult a decision it was but his previously mentioned statement sums it all up. This is the same club that didn’t have a proper home for nearly 12 years, a club that were nearly out of business and football league in the late 90’s and all of a sudden a few million TV generated quid and principles go out the window.
Widely recognised as one of the good guys in the game we don’t believe that the former Republic Of Ireland full back saw this coming, despite him being no stranger to a training ground dismissal after similar ends to his stints at Newcastle and Norwich.
According to the bookmakers and some sections of the media a three man shortlist has already been drawn up. It comprises of Swansea’s Graham Potter, Derby’s Frank Lampard and England Women head coach Phil Neville. Each and every one of those has to be considered as a gamble for a team that will surely be in need of an experienced head in what is shaping up to be a tougher looking division next season.
Whoever is chosen to lead the Seagulls into next season, they have a tough act to follow.