Kick It Out has “unreservedly apologised” to Brighton after comments made by its Head of Development Troy Townsend over the dismissal of Chris Hughton.
Hughton was sacked by Brighton on Monday after securing them a 17th-placed finish in the Premier League.
The anti-racism body added in a statement it was also sorry for any inference from Townsends comments that Hughtons sacking was “linked in any way to his ethnicity”.
Ultimately all good things come to an end. A few weeks ago we were discussing the future and said ironically if the Albion went down he certainly wouldnt get sacked given his record in the Championship, but as it transpired and the Albion survived, he could have become the first managerial casualty of the close season.
Hughton, 60, who was contracted with the Seagulls until 2021, was one of just two black managers in the Premier League.
The former Newcastle and Norwich boss had guided Albion to an FA Cup semi-final earlier this season, where they lost 1-0 to Manchester City at Wembley.
Swansea City boss Graham Potter is set to become the new manager of Brighton and is keen to take winger Daniel James with him to new his club, according to a report by TEAMtalk.
Graham Potter already has his eye on first signing at Brighton if he secures switch
Townsend, father of Crystal Palace forward Andros, described Hughtons dismissal as “shabby” in the interview.
The penny might also even have dropped at West Ham, where at some point over the last 18 months a point of realisation was evidently reached. Whereas the clubs summers were previously shouty, attention-seeking affairs, during which the owners would betray their hopeless determination to be taken seriously, now the atmosphere seems calmer. Manuel Pellegrini has been installed, but with him came Mario Husillos, the sporting director who worked with Pellegrini at Malaga and who now enjoys overall control of the transfer policy. The key is the relationship, the familiarity. The result was three excellent signings in Fabian Balbuena, Issa Diop and Lukasz Fabianski, a few coin-tosses which have produced mixed results, but – in general – the growing belief that with more time and greater familiarity, West Ham might just start to make sense.
He said: “We are now at worse than square one. What people dont understand is the real difficulties for black managers getting through the bottle neck at the top of football. We are talking about measly numbers.
The money continues to pour into the market place, the Premier League has hardly become frugal, but it’s not being pumped out into the ether. Owners will write the same cheques, yes, but with changing expectations of what their clubs can be and a demand for something other than safety. They want the feeling of progress. If that can’t be reflected in the league table, then they want to know that their club is running optimally and with the maximum chance of success. It’s an example which has been set and which, now, the great majority want to follow.
“Its so shabby. What are the expectations of Brighton? Surely it is to stay in the league. You are fourth from bottom and you have got to an FA Cup semi-final. I dont get it.
Thats in evidence at Leicester, too, albeit it in a less pronounced way. The appointment of Brendan Rodgers, for instance, was a clear example of the joined-up thinking which characterises this new breed. Beneath the more noxious layers of Rodgers personality lies a fundamentally excellent coach who preaches technical, possession-based football and who has a record of working very well with younger, more pliable players. Its a perfect marriage and, crucially, one which depends on subtleties beyond a CV full of silverware and an enormous transfer budget.
Graham Potter profile: All you need to know about Brighton managerial target
“They must have been planning it for some time. Look at how Chris has been treated at Newcastle and Norwich and now Brighton? Being nice is his nature, but I know behind closed doors he is a different guy, he knows how to get his teams going. He has given Brighton another year of Premier League football and he gets repaid like this? Really?”
Timing of Chris Hughtons sacking makes perfect sense for Brighton
Hughton first joined Brighton in December 2014 and led the club to the Premier League for the first time in 2017.
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3 managers Swansea must avoid as a potential replacement for Graham Potter
Albion have turned their attention to their managerial search following play-off defeat – with Chris Hughton and Danny Cowley among the early contenders.
However it is the style of play that has impressed most people, with Swansea playing a fast-paced, direct game that saw them score 65 league goals, the tenth most in the division. They also recorded the 11th best defensive record in the league, conceding 62 goals.
The Baggies are preparing for a second season in the Championship after losing to rivals Aston Villa on penalties, and the board are now deciding which approach to take.
Hughton, who was sacked by Brighton & Hove Albion this week, will be sounded out after winning promotion out of the Championship with both the Seagulls and Newcastle United.
His experience in the second tier makes the 60-year-old a safe pair of hands, although there is no special emphasis on him at this stage.
The 40-year-old would be a bolder choice for Albion, who are keen to bring in fresh ideas to help rebuild the club.
His contract at Sincil Bank runs until 2022, so the Baggies would need to stump up a compensation fee.
Cowley is ambitious and keen to manage at the highest level, but moved his family to Lincoln last summer and is already planning for next season.
They are not the only candidates under consideration, with Albion also contemplating appointing a coach from abroad who could re-invigorate the club.
Former Arsenal midfielder Patrick Vieira has also been linked with the Baggies, although hes currently employed by Nice and may prove difficult to prise out of the French club.
West Brom want Chris Hughton talks over managers job after play-off exit
The Baggies are keen to appoint a manager early in the summer to give their man the longest run-up possible to next season.