Sammy Lee leaves Brighton and Hove Albion for Southampton before he even starts

Posted On 29 Jun 2014 at 7:36 pm

Brighton and Hove Albion are looking for an assistant manager to replace Sammy Lee who has left the club for Southampton before he even started.

The 55-year-old former Liverpool and England midfielder has accepted the offer of a coaching job under new Southampton manager Ronald Koeman.

Lee, the former Bolton manager who also acted as caretaker manager at Liverpool, played on loan for the Saints in the 1989-90 season.

Lee had agreed to join Albion on Thursday (26 June) and his appointment to Sami Hyypia’s coaching team alongside Antti Niemi was announced on Friday (27 June).

The former Finland goalkeeper Niemi, 42, played for Glasgow Rangers, Hearts, Southampton and Fulham. He is now the goalkeeping coach for his national team.

Chief executive Paul Barber said: “It is extremely disappointing for the club, Sami Hyypia and those of us who worked hard to bring him here that Sammy Lee has now reversed his decision after agreeing to become assistant manager.

“Nobody at our club or Bolton Wanderers was aware of any interest from Southampton until several hours after we announced Sammy’s appointment as our assistant manager.

“It’s certainly not a situation any of us have come across before.

“Having already agreed his contract and terms with us to start work on Monday, we could have insisted on Sammy serving a notice period but we all feel it would have been counterproductive to do so.

“And while it’s incredibly frustrating for us we wish Sammy well.

“Our focus now is on working with Sami to help him recruit his assistant while also supporting him to bring in the players he needs to improve the squad for the new season.”

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