West Brom fans 'shocked' as Williams and Goodman depart

13th Feb 2018

It has come as quite a shock to Baggies fans today to learn that chairman John Williams and chief executive Martin Goodman have both been sacked from their positions following the 3-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge.

The men themselves are as surprised as anybody as West Brom owner Guochuan Lai has taken decisive action by placing the pair on gardening leave whilst reinstating former chief executive Mark Jenkins until the end of the season.

This move has plunged the club into further crisis adding to the poor league form and injury problems that have seen the Baggies on the brink of relegation from the Premier League.

Lai bought the club from Jeremy Peace for £200 million back in August 2016. It was at this point that John Williams was installed in the role and when Jenkins left a short time later Goodman came in as his replacement.

Lai was relying on these men to run a club that he bought because they were perceived to be a 'safe' Premier League outfit. Lai uses the Baggies' brand to win lucrative contracts for his company in China and is deeply unhappy that this has been put in serious jeopardy by the club's precarious league position.

There is a line of thought that also suggests the decision to sack Pulis, who was viewed as a safe pair of hands by the ownership, was also partly behind the reason for this shock sacking.

When Pulis was dismissed the Baggies were just outside the relegation places but they are now firmly rooted to the bottom of the table, with Pardew having only won once in thirteen Premier League matches since taking charge.

What does the double sacking tell us?

It is hard to know whether Lai sees the situation as hopeless, but he is expected to remain committed to the club in the medium turn, regardless of the outcome of this season.

It is also thought that Alan Pardew is not at risk of losing his job any time soon.

The fact that Jenkins has returned, a man that Lai was hoping would stay on when he bought the club, suggests that the aim is to take the club back to the stability that they had before the change of ownership took place.

It is well known that Lai wanted a club that was well run and also well established in the top flight in order to enhance his business opportunities and brand but he has held William and Goodman to account for the disastrous campaign thus far.

What next for the Baggies?

Jenkins made a short statement on his return suggesting the club still hope they will be able to turn the season around.

"There is much to do but for now the focus must solely be on the remaining games of this season," he said when asked about his return to the Hawthorns.
 
West Brom probably need five wins from their remaining eleven games if they are to have any hope of staying in the Premier League and all the focus will be on getting results in the coming fixtures.

The next few games will see the Baggies take on teams in and around them but with Daniel Sturridge limping off injured after just three minutes at Stamford Bridge last night it is hard to see how the Baggies will get enough goals to achieve that.
 
Overall fan reaction?
 
Personally I find the timing of all this rather strange, but you can’t argue with the man who has invested into what he thought was a safe bet.

Williams and Goodman have paid the price for not backing Pulis in the transfer market during the summer and then taking the risky decision to sack a man never to have been relegated.
 
The social media reaction from the fans is mostly positive and many are hoping that technical director Nicky Hammond might join too, but this looks unlikely.
 
Overall, it is hard to see whether this move will make any difference to the outcome of the current campaign but I personally am happy to see Jenkins return.

He knows how to run the club and I just hope he will be persuaded to come back long term Only time will tell.

Will West Brom stay up this season?