‘Very disappointing campaign’ leads to Pepe Mel exit at West Brom
Pepe Mel has left West Bromwich Albion by mutual consent after just four months in charge of the English Premier League club, the Midlands side announced on Monday.
The Spanish manager only arrived at the Hawthorns in January after being chosen as the full-time successor to Steve Clarke, sacked in January.
“Both Pepe and the club set out with the best intentions of making the appointment work,” said West Brom sporting and technical director Richard Garlick in a club statement.
“However, having reflected on events both on and off the field during our talks, it became apparent that it was in the best interests of both parties for there to be an amicable parting.”
Garlick added: “We are grateful for the manner in which the existing coaching staff and players have rallied behind Pepe to get the club over the line in what has proved an extremely competitive division.”
Mel’s brief reign saw the Baggies retain their Premier League status, albeit they finished just three points above the bottom three after a 2-1 home defeat by Stoke City on Sunday’s final day of the season.
The former Real Betis coach signed an 18-month contract when he took charge of West Brom but, initially, his arrival had little impact upon the club’s results.
It wasn’t until Mel’s eighth game in charge that the Baggies won under the Spaniard and he enjoyed just one victory at The Hawthorns, while his time with the club was overshadowed by the Nicolas Anelka affair that saw the former France striker sacked by West Brom for his on-field use of the ‘quenelle’ – a gesture associated with anti-Semitism.
“Although we have managed to achieve a fifth successive season of Premier League football, it has been a very disappointing campaign and lessons have been learned,” Garlick said.
“The search for a new head coach has now begun. We aim to find the most suitable candidate who, with the support of the structure we have had in place for six years and are presently strengthening, will enable the club to be more competitive next season.”
Assistant head coach Keith Downing and goalkeeper coach Dean Kiely are set to remain in their current posts, although first-team coach David Gomez has left the club.
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Published: May 13, 2014 04:00 AM