Gus Poyet finds himself now looking for new work after his contract at Brighton and Hove Albion was terminated last night, with the now ex-Seagulls manager appearing to have been made aware of the news while he was working as a TV pundit for The Confederations Cup.
Poyet was originally supposed to be analysing the first-half of the game between Nigeria and Spain for the BBC, but the majority of the 15 minutes assigned for that ended up becoming a discussion about the breaking news with regards to what happened at Brighton and where he can likely go from here. Poyet had initially been suspended, pending investigation from his previous position last month after the teams Play-Off Semi-Final defeat to rivals Crystal Palace, but the suspension was made over reports of a falling out with boardroom members and a breach of contract and nothing to do with the club falling just short of a place in next seasons Premier League. Now a month on and the powers that be at The Amex Stadium have decided that they can no longer continue their working relationship with Poyet and have officially decided that now is the time to part ways.
The club have issued a statement on their official website denying Poyet’s claims that he was taken completely by surprise and first made aware of the decision by a member of the BBC’s production team printing off a copy of the official statement regarding his departure and handing it to him during the ongoing match he was meant to be watching. Instead they claim that meetings took place over the course of the weekend including yesterday with Poyet and his legal representatives where they state that the Uruguayan was made fully aware of the fact that a decision regarding his dismissal was pending and that he knew exactly what was going on.
It is entirely up to the reader to believe whether or not they think that statement from the club is true or not, what presumably would be on most Brighton fans minds now other than who the new manager will be is why could this decision not have been announced at a more appropriate time? Regardless of the board’s feelings towards Poyet now, given all he had done for the club, such as turning them from a lower-half League One side in 2010 to a promotion chasing Championship side in 2013, why could this decision not have been announced publicly today instead? That way they could have avoided the criticism from fans and outsiders for the bad timing of this decision and the increase in sympathy that Gus Poyet has received from it. In the end it may well be something that won’t even bother the decision makers at the club, but really it does the reputation of Brighton and Hove Albion as a whole not much good.
Poyet has announced that he intends to appeal the decision to dismiss him, which also prevents the club from hiring a new manager on a permanent basis until a decision is made. With clubs now starting to prepare for pre-season, the timing of this could well come back to haunt Brighton who will almost certainly start their preparation campaign with no new manager there to set out initial hopes and expectations for the upcoming season. Brighton are still a strong team regardless and many will expect them to be amongst the frontrunners again, but if they don’t get off to a good start and end up missing out again, many will perhaps consider this saga between Poyet and the board members as a reason for any potential failure.