West Brom stars up for grabs

West Bromwich Albion are set to cut their first-team squad from 31 to 25 players following the arrival of new boss Bryan Robson.

West Bromwich Albion are set to cut their first-team squad from 31 to 25 players following the arrival of new boss Bryan Robson.

The club, which yesterday announced a pre-tax loss of £100,000 for the year ending June 30, also revealed they intend to return to private hands after eight years on the stock market.

The Baggies have already sold Sean Gregan, James Chambers and Scott Dobie since September, but Robson has identified further players who will follow the trio out of the Hawthorns.

Albion chairman Jeremy Peace agreed to the acquisitions of a number of players during the summer which could potentially cost more than £11million, but now he wishes to make the squad more manageable for the new boss.

Riccardo Scimeca, Martin Albrechtsen, Darren Purse, Tomasz Kuszczak, Jonathan Greening, Nwankwo Kanu, Zoltan Gera, Robert Earnshaw, Junichi Inamoto and Cosmin Contra all arrived at the club.

But now Peace will look to start the cull as the Baggies bid to gain a foothold in the Premiership.

Peace told www.icbirmingham.co.uk: “With 31 players in the senior squad, the club will now endeavour to reduce this number by approximately 25% over the coming months to a more manageable number, with the added benefit of any transfer fee income and wage savings that will arise.

“This is made possible by the absence of transfer window restrictions for sales or loans between Premier League and Coca-cola Championships clubs.

“The recent sales of Sean Gregan to Leeds United, James Chambers to Watford and Scott Dobie to Millwall, for combined fees of up to £2million, has started this process.

“In general, the transfer window system does not help any promoted Premier League club that has to significantly strengthen its squad in a very short time, while more established clubs with a greater certainty of survival have only to select and attract a small number of quality players to augment already stronger squads.”

Peace also confirmed the club’s intention to increase the capacity of the Hawthorns to 40,000 – but only if there is sufficient demand.

It was also revealed that West Bromwich Albion Holdings Limited, headed up by Jeremy Roland Peace, last night informed the London Stock Exchange of its offer to buy back the entire share capital of West Bromwich Albion plc.

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