West Bromwich Albion sacked manager Steve Clarke hours after their 1-0 defeat to Cardiff City. This was their fourth loss in succession, leaving them with just one win in their last 10 games.
The Albion directors expected a better result against Cardiff, who were below them in the table at kick-off after one win in nine and had failed to score in their previous three. The result left West Brom 16th – two points above the relegation zone.
A statement on the West Brom website said the sacking was “the unanimous decision of the club’s board of directors following a disappointing performance throughout 2013.
“Albion have won only seven of their 34 Premier League games during the calendar year – a 20% win rate yielding a total of only 31 points – despite a substantial investment in the first-team squad.”
In his post-match interview, Steve Clarke said: “We created chances as we normally do.”
“At the moment things aren’t going for us. We have to work harder and hope we get a lucky break or that somebody does something fantastic. There is no magic formula or wand.”
Clarke took over at The Hawthorns in June 2012 and would have been out of contract at the end of this season.
West Brom was Clarke’s first managerial role, having previously been assistant manager at Chelsea, West Ham and Liverpool.
The Black Country club’s sporting and technical director, Richard Garlick, said: “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.”
Saido Berahino tweeted his reaction to Steve’s sacking, but quickly deleted the tweet.
Here’s what he tweeted:Published 15 Dec 2013, 10:06 IST