Sunday 15 September 2019

Tony Pulis says he's 'proud' of his time at West Brom in first statement since dismissal

The Welshman revealed that he was briefed with increasing the club's finances during his reign to make them stronger in the Premier League

Jack de Menezes

Tony Pulis has spoken for the first time since being sacked as manager by West Bromwich Albion of his pride at what he achieved at the Hawthorns, even though he leaves the club on the cusp of the relegation zone.

Following Saturday’s 4-0 humbling by Chelsea, the West Brom board decided to dismiss Pulis after nearly three years at the helm, with new owner Guochuan Lai poised to make his first managerial appointment since purchasing the club last year.

Pulis had guided the club to three mid-table finishes in as many season, with last year’s finish in tenth place coming after an impressive start to the season that saw them hit 40 points before the end of February – effectively securing their place in the Premier League with plenty of games to spare.

However, that proved to be the turning point for West Brom’s results under Pulis, and since reaching that threshold the Baggies have won just three Premier League matches, resulting in the 59-year-old being dismissed on Monday morning.

Pulis issued a statement via the League Managers’ Association after his sacking, in which he revealed that his brief had always been to make the club financially stable in order to improve results.

“Over the last three seasons we have achieved a great deal and I am proud to have managed West Bromwich Albion,” Pulis said.

“I would like to thank the two owners, Jeremy Peace and Mr Lai, the board and fans for their support during my time as West Brom. Jeremy Peace and Mr Lai have played an important role in the off-field success and given the team a platform to build from.

"My remit was to develop the squad and ensure we delivered results which would in turn improve the club’s financial position. We have achieved this year-on-year and I am pleased to have played a part in the club’s growth.

“Our final league position in the last three seasons has represented the accomplishment of our targets as a club; sustaining our status in the Premier League and delivering stability, throughout the club's transition of ownership.

“We enjoyed a fantastic season last year, finishing 10th in the Premier League for only the third occasion in Albion's history and finished as the top midlands team for only the second time since 1967-68. I strongly believe that this group of players can return to this level of performance and finish in the upper reaches of the Premier League.

“This season, expectations have risen and although we are disappointed with some of our results, one thing I would never question is this group's work ethic and application. The players and backroom staff are extremely hard working professionals and I would like to thank them for their efforts and wish them the very best in the future.”

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