Brighton and Hove Albion: Chris Hughton reveals he was ‘surprised and disappointed’ after Seagulls sacking

Jack Rathborn
The Independent

Chris Hughton admits he was ”hugely disappointed and surprised” after being sacked by Brighton.

Hughton, 60, had guided the Seagulls to promotion to the Premier League in 2017, but his four-year reign on the south coast was ended after a narrow escape from relegation, finishing 17th this season, just two points ahead of third-bottom Cardiff.

“I was hugely disappointed and surprised by the decision that was made to end my time with Brighton and Hove Albion FC,” Hughton said in a statement released by the League Managers Association.

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“I thoroughly enjoyed my four and a half years managing this special football club.

“I would like to put on record my gratitude to my coaching staff, the players, fans, everyone connected to the club and the wider community of Brighton & Hove and wish them luck for the future.”

The LMA heaped praise on Hughton for his work, labelling him “inspirational” for his work with Brighton.

“Chris’ impressive tenure has been inspirational for his peers in the game,” said LMA chief executive Richard Bevan.

“He has helped transform Brighton & Hove Albion, from fighting relegation to League One, to competing with the best teams in the world and retaining Premier League status for yet another season.

“This season, he again proved his managerial ability in also leading his team to the semi-final of the FA Cup for only the second time in the club’s history.

“He continues to be a tremendous role model for young managers and coaches in the game.”

Chris Hughton is disappointed at Brighton’s decision (Getty)
Chris Hughton is disappointed at Brighton’s decision (Getty)

Hughton has been replaced by Graham Potter, who arrives from Swansea after compensation was agreed between the two clubs.

The Seagulls finished 15th in their first campaign under Hughton in the Premier League and one place above the relegation zone this season after winning just three of their last 23 league games.

Brighton’s FA Cup run came to an end against eventual winners Manchester City, with Pep Guardiola’s side edging them 1-0 in the semi-finals.

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