Brighton have sacked Chris Hughton after deciding that their recent Premier League form posed a “significant risk” to their top-flight future.
The Seagulls finished 17th in the Premier League, closer in terms of points to 18th-placed Cardiff than Southampton in 16th.
The 4-1 defeat to Manchester City on the final day rounded off a woeful second half of the season for Hughton’s side, who won just twice after January 1.
With Huddersfield (6) the only side to pick up fewer points in 2019 (11), Brighton have decided to terminate their five-year association with the nicest man and youngest 60-year-old in football.
Chairman Tony Bloom confirmed that assistant manager Paul Trollope and first-team coach Paul Nevin have also parted company with the club.
“Chris has done an excellent job over the past four and a half years,” he said in an official club statement. “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.
“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.”