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West Brom executives sacked with Alan Pardew’s side rock bottom of Premier League
- Updated: February 14, 2018
ALAN PARDEW’S job as West Brom boss is safe for now despite a day of dramatic sackings at the Hawthorns.
Chairman John Williams and chief executive Martin Goodman were axed on Tuesday as Chinese owner Guochuan Lai flexed his muscles in the wake of Albion’s slump to the foot of the Premier League.
They have won just one of their 13 league games since Pardew took charge in December but the head coach, sporting director Nick Hammond and director of football administration Richard Garlick are not believed to be under immediate threat.
Pardew’s performance is expected to be reviewed in the summer, although he could come under mounting pressure if his side fail to capitalise on a crucial series of six league games starting at home against Huddersfield on February 24.
They also face Watford, Leicester, Bournemouth, Burnley and Swansea in a season-defining spell, with four of the six games at The Hawthorns.
Albion are already seven points adrift of the safety line with Pardew knowing poor results in their next half-dozen league games would leave them doomed to life in the Championship after eight seasons in the top flight.
Pardew was informed of the shock departures of Williams and Goodman in Barcelona, where he has taken his squad for a week-long training camp ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup fifth-round tie at home to Southampton.
Both Williams and Goodman have been placed on gardening leave after being told their contracts are being terminated.
Former chief executive Mark Jenkins has returned to the role in place of Goodman with a new chairman not expected to be appointed until the summer.
Jenkins said: “There is much to do but for now the focus must solely be on the remaining games of this season.”
Jenkins spent 14 years as CEO under former owner and chairman Jeremy Peace but left just over a year ago when Lai’s Palm group completed a £200m takeover.
Lai had asked Jenkins to stay on but he opted to leave, only to return recently as a director of the club’s holding company.
His reappointment will be seen as an insurance policy to ensure Albion are competitive in the Championship if relegation is confirmed.
He was chief executive throughout the 2000s, when West Brom became renowned as a successful ‘yo-yo club’, bouncing back effectively three times after dropping out of the Premier League.
But the sackings are also a clear response from Lai to accusations from fans that he was an ‘absentee landlord’.
His personal visits to The Hawthorns have been infrequent since he bought the club around 18 months ago with the ‘eco towns’ developer happy to leave Williams in charge.
The former Blackburn chairman was suggested for the role by his friend Peace, who is not expected to have any role in the new-look hierarchy.
Williams stayed loyal to former boss Tony Pulis despite an alarming slump in results at the end of last season and the start of the current campaign.
But he was eventually forced to recommend the sacking of Pulis and the appointment of Pardew, only for results to show little improvement.
The lack of an early bounce under the former Crystal Palace and Newcastle boss has concerned Lai at a time when West Brom have their most expensively-assembled squad ever, including loanees Grzegorz Krychowiak and Daniel Sturridge earning more than £100,000-a-week