Premier League reunion off: Former Norwich boss sacked – the morning after the season ends
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Norwich City’s Premier League reunion with Chris Hughton is on hold, after Brighton sacked the former Canaries boss – one day after the 2018-19 season ended.
Hughton led Albion to Premier League survival for a second time - but only by two points and with just two wins from 18 top-flight matches since the turn of the year.
The perceived negativity of the Seagulls' play in recent weeks also didn't help matters - something Canaries fans will sympathise with.
Hughton spent almost two seasons as boss at Carrow Road, taking Norwich to an 11th place finish in 2012-13 after filling the sizeable hole left by Paul Lambert - but was unable to hold-off City's impending relegation the following campaign. He was sacked with five games remaining as City made a desperate attempt to avoid their fate.
Seagulls chairman Tony Bloom said: "Undoubtedly this has been one of the most difficult decisions I have had to make as chairman of Brighton and Hove Albion, but ultimately one I have made due to how we struggled in the second half of the season.
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"Our run of three 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."
Hughton was interviewed on the Amex Stadium pitch lap of appreciation following his side's final day 4-1 defeat to Manchester City on Sunday - a result that earned the Citizens the Premier League title - and appeared to have no inkling as to what might be round the corner.
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He replaced Sami Hyypia at Albion in December 2014 with Brighton just above the Sky Bet Championship relegation zone - and took them to automatic promotion within two seasons ahead of one of the pre-season favourites, his former club Norwich.
Hughton also guided the club to only their second FA Cup semi-final earlier this season.
"Chris has done an excellent job over the past four-and-a-half years," added 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."
Assistant manager Paul Trollope - who was with Hughton at Norwich - and first-team coach Paul Nevin have also left the club, with the search for Hughton's successor already under way. Swansea boss Graham Potter is the early favourite.
"Chris will always be very fondly remembered by Albion staff and fans as one of our club's finest and most-respected managers," said Bloom.
"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.
"They will always be welcome at the Amex, and will be remembered here with great affection."
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