Hope Powell has resigned as manager of Brighton & Hove Albion Women following a poor start to 2022-23 season.
Powell first arrived at Brighton in July 2017 and guided the Seagulls to a second-placed finish in Women’s Super League 2, which proved enough for promotion to the WSL following obtaining of a licence after champions – Doncaster Rovers Belles were denied their license.
Brighton have since managed to stay in the top-flight for four consecutive seasons with their season-best league finish of sixth during the 2020-21 season under Powell, albeit behind-closed-doors due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
This season though has seen Brighton win just one of their opening six matches in all competitions, which has led Powell to decide to resign with immediate effect after the club lost 8-0 at home to Tottenham Hotspur which left them sat 11th and three points above the WSL relegation zone.
Rather than depart quietly, Powell issued a statement via Brighton’s official website, in which she said: “We’ve had a very challenging start to the new season with many changes to our squad and results not going as we had all hoped. Sunday’s heavy loss at home to Tottenham was particularly disappointing.
“As a club, we’ve made a lot of progress in the past five years, but I feel now is the right time to step aside and allow a new coach to take the team forward with plenty of Super League football still to play this season.”
Chair of Brighton’s Women and Girls Football Club Board, Michell Walder added that Powell would leave a legacy, as she commented: “Hope’s contribution to the development of women’s and girls’ football at our club, and for the women’s game in this country, cannot be underestimated.
“Hope has established Brighton & Hove Albion in the Women’s Super League, has overseen the opening of a new state-of-the-art women’s and girls’ teams training facility at our club, and has undoubtedly inspired further generations of young girls to play football. We wish her well for the future.”
Walder also confirmed that Amy Merricks will serve as interim manager for Brighton’s WSL trip to West Ham on Sunday 6 November, assisted by Alex Penny and Perry Northeast ahead of the international break whilst the search commences for a new permanent manager.