West Brom prepare to offload players as parachute payments end

Mark Miles

West Bromwich Albion says it’s preparing to sell members of its first-team squad, as it works to balance the books following the end of Premier League parachute payments.

After CEO Ron Gourlay announced his departure, the Baggies have appointed managing director Mark Miles to assume Gourlay’s duties, who says that “sales are necessary in order to increase income and reduce the first-team wage bill”.

Miles, who joined the Baggies in July 2003, will oversee all club departments, chairing the Football Technical Board, whilst Ian Pearce has been appointed Head of Football Operations and will continue to work closely with Head Coach Carlos Corberán.

As fans continue to voice their frustration with the clubs owner Guochuan Lai over his failure to repay a £4.95m loan, Miles has agreed to meet with representative groups over the coming weeks

He admits that “there is no escaping the fact the club faces challenges” but is determined to “lead Albion through to a more prosperous period”. He promised fans that he has only worked “with integrity and in the club’s best interests” over the last two decades.

He said in a statement: “This summer is the first during my 20 years here that we will not receive any income from the Premier League and, in order to maintain stability, the club will need to manage its finances prudently.

“While some player sales are inevitable, I also recognise the opportunity this provides us to recruit talented young, hungry, and athletic players. The type of players Carlos and the rest of the football technical board believe are required to achieve success in the Championship.

“We have discussed at length the need to refresh the squad this summer and player sales will help us to achieve that while we also work to balance the books.

“Make no mistake, we will be building a squad equipped to compete for promotion – but sales are necessary in order to increase income and reduce the first-team wage bill.

“Last season’s Championship table evidences the fact that high spending does not always equate with success, and clubs with limited resources, if managed smartly and diligently, can outperform those with bigger budgets.

“In Ian Pearce we have an experienced and knowledgeable football mind who knows what is required to achieve success. His already strong relationship with Carlos will only strengthen as they work together even more closely. They have been working together preparing for this transfer window for some time and are very much on the same page in terms of what the club requires”.