Following their 1-0 defeat at Cardiff City on Saturday afternoon, West Bromwich Albion have announced they have sacked manager Steve Clarke.
The former Chelsea and Liverpool assistant manager was given his first managerial position in the summer of 2012, when the Baggies took the chance to appoint him as Roy Hodgson’s successor. And the Scot was hugely impressive in his debut season at the Hawthorns, leading them to eighth place in the Premier League despite them starting as one of the favourites for the drop.
This term, though, Clarke has found life difficult, and their defeat in Wales leaves Albion just two points above the drop zone. And this has resulted in the board making a unanimous decision to issue the 50-year-old, along with his assistant Kevin Keen, with P45’s.
Sporting and technical director Richard Garlick told the club’s official website on Saturday evening: “We have reluctantly come to the decision to relieve Steve of his duties after very careful consideration. It has been well documented that we have not had the rub of the green in certain games this season but that does not cloud the generally disappointing points return during this calendar year, culminating in today’s fourth-successive defeat at Cardiff.
“This club’s track record proves we do not take such decisions lightly, having only enforced a change in this position three times in approximately 14 years. But with key games coming thick and fast, we felt it was important we acted now to give the club the best possible chance of a successful outcome this season. Our player wage bill is the highest in the club’s history and we feel we have built a squad capable of being very competitive in the Premier League.”
Joint assistant head coach Keith Downing will assume control of the first team whilst a permanent successor is sought. Martin Jol, who had a two year spell at West Brom as a player from 1982-1984, could well be a contender, having been dismissed by Fulham recently.