West Brom fans have reacted with anger to the appointment of Alan Irvine as their new head coach.
The Scot got the nod ahead of hot favourite Tim Sherwood as Pepe Mel’s successor at Albion.
However, the appointment was met with anger and surprise by Baggies fans. In an Express & Star poll, 84% of voters have said he is not the right man for the job.
And this afternoon fans were posting pictures on Twitter of a banner at the gates of The Hawthorns calling for chairman Jeremy Peace to leave.
Irvine, aged 55, impressed the Hawthorns hierarchy in a round of second interviews on Friday and has been preferred to Sherwood, who had looked set to get the nod from chairman Jeremy Peace.
Irvine, whose previous managerial experience came at Preston North End and Sheffield Wednesday, has landed the Hawthorns hotseat five years after missing out narrowly to Roberto Di Matteo in a previous race for the job.
He has signed a one-year rolling contract.
Poll: Is Alan Irvine the right man for West Brom?
Personal view: I find it hard to get enthused about Irvine appointment, but I do honestly think he's a better fit for #wba than Sherwood.— Steve Madeley (@smadeley_star) June 14, 2014
The Baggies are in the final stages of negotiating Irvine’s release from Everton, where he has been working as the club’s academy manager.
He will be joined at The Hawthorns by Rob Kelly as joint assistant head coach and the pair will work alongside another assistant, Keith Downing, and goalkeeping coach Dean Kiely.
Technical director Terry Burton said: "I'm delighted we have been able to secure the services of Alan and Rob.
"With the support of Keith and Dean, we firmly believe we have put in place the right coaching team to move the club forward.
"From the outset, we decided to pursue candidates who are renowned for their coaching ability and Alan was very much at the forefront of our thoughts because of his achievements in the Premier League and the high regard he is held within the game.
"In the end it came down to two outstanding candidates for the role.
“But, following a detailed recruitment process, we decided Alan and the team around him are best suited to tackle the challenges we face in the Barclays Premier League.
“He has a vast knowledge from grassroots up thanks to the roles he has performed during his decades in the game and knows what it takes through good and testing times.”
Sherwood emerged as the preferred candidate after the first round of interviews and the Baggies opened preliminary contract talks with the former Tottenham boss, during which wages for his coaches, Les Ferdinand and Chris Ramsey, emerged as a potential stumbling block.
But the Baggies board simultaneously met with both men for second interviews and it was Irvine who proved the most impressive.
His appointment will bring to an end a month-long search for Mel’s replacement.
Glasgow-born Irvine’s playing career included spells at Queens Park in Scotland, Everton, Crystal Palace, Dundee United and Blackburn Rovers.
He launched his coaching career at Everton and served as David Moyes’ assistant before becoming Preston boss in November 2007, keeping North End safe from relegation before leading them into the Championship play-offs in his first full season.
He was sacked in December 2009 after a poor run of results but was appointed Wednesday boss less than a month later.
He stayed for just over a year before returning for a second spell at Goodison Park in July 2011, this time heading up the club’s academy.
Irvine has been endorsed strongly by new technical director Terry Burton and, despite the prospect of a luke warm reaction from supporters, the Baggies believe Irvine’s widely-acknowledged expertise on the training ground can reinvigorate a squad still yearning for former boss Roy Hodgson.Subscribe to our Newsletter