Hope Powell has stepped down as manager of Brighton Women after Sunday’s 8-0 home defeat by Tottenham. The former England Women manager joined the club in July 2017 and led them to their best Women’s Super League finish of sixth in 2021.
The hammering by Spurs left Brighton second-bottom with one win and four defeats from their opening five league games. Powell’s team had faced each of the top three – Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea – in the opening weeks.
“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,” Powell said in farewell comments to the club’s website. “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.”
Brighton said Amy Merricks, the assistant manager, would take charge at West Ham on Sunday, supported by Alex Penny and Perry Northeast.
Michelle Walder, chair of the women’s and girls’ football club board, said: “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.”
Brighton also finished ninth twice and seventh last season under Powell, who managed England from 1998 to 2013.