Slaven Bilic has been fired as West Bromwich Albion manager after their dismal start to the Premier League season and former England boss Sam Allardyce has been brought in to replace him.
Delivering Albion’s best result of the season was not enough to save Bilic from becoming the first Premier League manager this season to be fired on Wednesday.
Bilic lost his job a day after West Brom drew 1-1 at Manchester City with the kind of hard-working display that showed his players had not given up on their coach.
He was replaced later on Wednesday by 66-year-old Allardyce, who has been out of work since May 2018 but has a reputation for saving teams from relegation.
Allardyce has managed more Premier League teams than any other person with West Brom now being his eighth.
“In Sam, we have a man who has a proven Premier League pedigree with a track record of improving every club he has managed,” West Brom’s sporting and technical director, Luke Dowling, said.
Allardyce, who has signed an 18-month deal, will take training on Thursday ahead of his first game in charge at Aston Villa on Sunday.
West Brom are next-to-last in England’s top flight with only seven points from their opening 13 games in their first season back in the top division.
Bilic was in charge for 18 months, leading the team to promotion from the Championship at the end of his first season.
After struggling to sign any top-quality players in the offseason, West Brom have found the transition to the Premier League hard, winning only one match – against last-place Sheffield United – and conceding a league-high 26 goals.
Bilic was also unhappy about the club sanctioning the sale of Egypt centre back Ahmed Hegazi in October, saying he didn’t want the player to leave.
The club also announced the departure of the Croatian’s assistants, Dean Racunica and Danilo Butorovic.
The draw at City was Bilic’s 100th Premier League game as a manager. Afterwards, he said he was “calm” amid widespread reports he was about to be fired.
“To be fair, I’m not bothered,” he said. “I’m doing my job. I’m enjoying it. I’m working hard for myself, for my staff, for the players, for the club, that’s all.”
Bilic, a former player and coach of Croatia’s national team, had previously been fired by Premier League club West Ham in 2017 after two-and-a-half years in charge.
He also has coached Hajduk Split, Lokomotiv Moscow, Besiktas and Al-Ittihad.