Brighton have sacked manager Chris Hughton following a difficult end to the Premier League season.
Although the Seagulls swerved relegation to the Championship, a dismal run of form that yielded just three wins from 23 league games saw the 60-year-old axed.
Hughton’s final game was a 4-1 defeat against champions Manchester City on Sunday – a match that briefly threatened a huge title twist after Glenn Murray opened the scoring.
Brighton finished 17th in the table on 36 points. Cardiff City, Fulham and Huddersfield Town were relegated.
“Chris has done an excellent job over the past four and a half years,” said Brighton chairman Tony Bloom. “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.
“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.”
Assistant Paul Trollope and first-team coach Paul Nevin have also left the club.
Hughton, who arrived at the Amex Stadium in 2014, guided the club into the Premier League for the first time in 2017. Brighton finished 15th in their debut season.
He also led the club to their first FA Cup semi-final since 1983, eventually losing to favourites Manchester City at Wembley in April.