Were Brighton right to sack Melissa Phillips?
The decision came as a surprise, but should it have done?
The Women’s Super League suffered its first managerial sacking of the season as Brighton announced they had let Melissa Phillips go on Thursday afternoon. Despite the euphemistic language in their tweet, the body of the message was clear.
“This is not a decision which has been taken lightly,” said Technical Director David Weir “but we feel 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, and results and performances have not been at the level we had expected, given that investment.”
The decision has largely been met with outrage. Phillips took the job in April of last season and helped keep Brighton in the division with two wins and a draw in their last seven fixtures. This summer Brighton recruited a huge number of players, many of whom were very high profile, but currently find themselves in 10th, six points off the bottom with three wins and two draws from twelve games.
It is fair to say that the timing of the sacking is bizarre. Phillips had done her press conference for Brighton’s weekend match against Manchester United just two and a half hours before she was let go. Reports suggested that the players were surprised by the decision and that Phillips was seen as well liked.
The general feeling seems to be that Phillips did not get enough time in a job which had involved a huge amount of player turnover and that Brighton expected too much too soon. Brighton have long had ambitions of rising up the table and clearly with the money that has been spent on bringing players in, are willing to invest in that vision. Unfortunately, the past seasons have had a significant amount of upheaval both on the pitch and on the sidelines.