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Football: West Brom appoint Allardyce as Bilic replacement

Last updated on: December 16, 2020 22:49 IST
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Slaven Bilic and Sam Allardyce

IMAGE: Slaven Bilic and Sam Allardyce. Photograph: Toby Melville/File Photo/Reuters

Premier League strugglers West Bromwich ALbion have appointed Sam Allardyce as manager after sacking Slaven Bilic earlier on Wednesday.

The club said in a statement Allardyce had agreed an 18-month contract.

Allardyce, 66, has managed Bolton Wanderers, Newcastle United, Blackburn Rovers, West Ham United, Sunderland, Crystal Palace and Everton in the top flight, earning a reputation for helping struggling teams to avoid relegation.

"West Bromwich Albion are delighted to confirm the appointment of Sam Allardyce as the club's new head coach. The experienced boss, who has 512 Premier League games to his name, arrives at Albion with his long-time assistant, Sammy Lee," the club said in a statement.

West Brom sacked manager Bilic after a dismal start to the season that left the team second-bottom of the Premier League with one win in 13 games, the club said on Wednesday.

Bilic is the first top-flight manager in England to be sacked this season and his team have picked up only seven points.

West Brom's sole victory came against bottom side Sheffield United late last month while they drew four games and lost eight.

"West Bromwich Albion have today parted company with head coach Slaven Bilic," the club said in a statement.

 

"Assistant coaches, Dean Racunica and Danilo Butorovic, and first team coach Julian Dicks have also left the club with immediate effect."

Bilic's last match in charge was Tuesday's 1-1 draw with Manchester City and the Croatian manager said he was "not bothered" about what was happening behind the scenes as rumours of his sacking gathered steam.

Bilic took over the reins at West Brom in 2019 and was tasked with gaining promotion from the Championship to the top flight.

West Brom gained automatic promotion to the Premier League on the final day of the season when they finished second.

However, the club did not invest in the transfer market to help Bilic assemble a squad capable of competing in the top flight, with 22-year-old Grady Diangana being their biggest signing.

West Brom's next game is a West Midlands derby against Aston Villa on Sunday and British media reported former Everton and Crystal Palace manager Sam Allardyce is set to take over at The Hawthorns.

Ex India goalkeeper Chaubey files petition in SC to direct AIFF to hold elections

Former India goalkeeper Kalyan Chaubey on Wednesday said that he has filed a petition before the Supreme Court, seeking to direct the All India Football Federation to hold elections "at an early date".

The AIFF last month moved an application before the Supreme Court, seeking continuation of its existing executive committee beyond its term on the ground that the court-appointed administrators are yet to frame a new constitution to conduct elections.

The four-year term of the current executive committee ends next week and under normal circumstances, the elections will have to be held during the Annual General Meeting on December 21 with Praful Patel, who has been AIFF president since 2012, ineligible to contest as per the Sports Code.

"I have moved the SC as an ex-International player with an appeal not to extend the mandate of the current executive committee and hold fresh elections at an early date," Chaubey told PTI.

"Further, I have also pleaded in the SC to correct the election eligibility process where players also can contest elections and be part of decision making body of AIFF.

"I have taken this step to approach the court to protect the larger interest of football and promote democracy and practice good governance in AIFF... world is watching us very closely and the current happenings in AIFF will negatively impact the game from every side."

Chaubey was in the Indian team as goalkeeper in the early 2000s, including in the SAFF Championships. He has played for big clubs like Mohun Bagan, East Bengal, Salgaocar and JCT Mills.  

The Supreme Court, in a 2017 order, had appointed a Committee of Administrators comprising S Y Quraishi and Bhaskar Ganguli to formulate the constitution of the AIFF in consonance with the Sports Code.

Quraishi, however, had refuted AIFF's claims that he had sought more time to prepare the draft constitution of the sports body, saying the document has already been submitted to the apex court.

He said the Committee of Administrators had finalised the draft constitution in December last year and submitted it to the SC in January this year in a sealed cover as directed by the apex court.

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