Jeremy Peace today broke his silence on Albion’s year of turmoil and insisted: “The buck stops with me”.
The Baggies chairman blamed poor recruitment for the club’s horrendous Premier League season but insisted they have learned lessons from the nightmare campaign.
The Baggies escaped relegation by just three points in a season that included crises surrounding Nicolas Anelka and Saido Berahino, the sackings of head coach Steve Clarke and scouting supremo Dave McDonough and players questioning the methods of Clarke’s replacement Pepe Mel.
“For a club of our resources, it was always going to be difficult to repeat our highest Premier League finish of eighth in the previous season,” said Peace.
“However, it was not the campaign we hoped for or expected and, as chairman of the football club, the buck stops with me.
“The squad we assembled during the summer transfer window – regarded in some outside quarters at the time as our strongest for more than three decades – has not performed as consistently or as well as we would have hoped.
“We have been taking a long, hard look as to why this has proved to be the case, especially in terms of our player recruitment.”
Albion last week released five players while five season-long loanees have also left the club, meaning only cash signings Victor Anichebe and Stephane Sessegnon remain from the players recruited last summer.
They have now appointed Terry Burton as the club’s new technical director.
Peace said: “Terry will provide more footballing knowledge at the highest level of the club.
“The structure we have had in place has generally worked well and we are certainly not going to rip it up and start from scratch after one poor season.”