What's next for Baggies fans?
Many believe that the heart of Midlands football lies with the loyal fans of West Bromwich Albion, a founding member of the English football league since 1888.
The club has long been through many ups and downs from the "great escape" in 2005, to the loss of a club legend Jeff Astle in 2002. This club has a lot of history and records, currently standing at 38 winning trophies.
In the recent season campaign of the 2013-14 Barclays Premier League, things have started to become a little hot at the Hawthorns. Steve Clarke's second season in charge was a breath of fresh air for fans with him bringing in champions league experienced players like Nicolas Anelka and national team captain Stephan Sossegnon.
However, from then things started to turn with Clarke's signing Anelka causing a lot of controversy over his anti-Semitic quenelle gesture while playing for West Brom. This brought a lot of anger to many organisations and people, causing the clubs then main sponsors Zoopla, to pull out of their sponsorship deal at the end of the season. Mr Peace, the Chairman, then caused even more anger with fans by sacking Steve Clarke after he managed to reach them their best finish in the Premier League of 8th place. Many believed he deserved more time. After that there was the appointment of Pepe Mel and sacking of him shortly after. The club then finishing that season 17th just above relegation.
With no sponsor and no manager, Peace then went about releasing players including fans-favourite Liam Ridgewell, Uruguayan captain Diego Lugano, and hero Zoltan Gera. They then went without a manager for almost six weeks whilst many other rival clubs were sorting out new signings, managers etc. Fans were becoming very anxious and frustrated at the lack of appointing the new manager. Things then looked like they were taking a turn for the better and getting Peace back in fans good books by bringing in former coach Terry Burton as Technical Director. On the 14th of June the club respectfully should have been preparing to announce Tim Sherwood as their new manager however, there was great debate over his backroom staff and their wages therefore, late on the night the club announced that Alan Irvine, with very little management experience, would take up the role as Head Coach. This action has angered many supporters of the Baggies across the globe with the club now in a position where, only 5 days after appointing Irvine, they are starting petitions, protests and putting up flags around the ground for Peace to sell the club.
Needless to say, supporters can not blame or have anything against Alan Irvine really as all he's done is been offered a job and taken it. The only question really is why, when West Brom have a fairly good (if not one of the best) controls over finances in England and a respectful Premier League reputation, does Jeremy Peace not spend? Many supporters have already stated over social media that, if they want this club to stay in top flight football, you have got to start spending.
All that's left for supporters to do now is wait and see what the future holds for them. Will Jeremy Peace sell up? Will Irvine turn out to be great? Is next season going to be a return to the championship?...
All debate aside, if there's anyone who can keep the legend of The Throstles alive, it's the hearts of every West Brom fan out there.
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