Brighton and Hove Albion have parted ways with Melissa Phillips, with the club just two places above the relegation zone on 11 points. The former manager guided the Seagulls to Women’s Super League security last season but the club have still opted for a change of leadership.
Announcing the departure on the evening after the January transfer window closed has raised a few eyebrows amongst the fanbase. Phillips is well regarded in the sport and was seen as a long-term placement at the helm of Brighton.
Technical director David Weir said: “This is not a decision which has been taken lightly. But we feel it is vital for the progress we want to see in the Women’s Super League.
“We have invested heavily in the women’s squad and infrastructure going into this season. Results and performances have not been at the level we had expected, given that investment.”
Who will take charge of Brighton?
Brighton men’s Academy and Pathway manager Mickey Harris, alongside Owen Fisher, will have interim management over the WSL side. Managing director Zoe Turner has set out targets for the duo.
“The immediate priority is upcoming WSL, Conti Cup and FA Cup matches against Manchester United this Sunday, and Aston Villa and Wolves the following week, while also beginning the search for a permanent head coach,” she said.
Harris has also spent time as U18 manager with both Portsmouth and Southampton men’s sides. He also managed Salisbury City men’s team in 2013/14.