Express & Star

West Brom players face 50% pay cut if relegated

All of Albion’s players will have their wages slashed in half should the Baggies get relegated this season.

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Jonny Evans and Ahmed Hegazi. (AMA)

The club have inserted relegation clauses into every player’s contract to financially protect themselves against the drop.

Four players also have release clauses in their deals, including skipper Jonny Evans who will be allowed to leave for just £3million.

Thanks to the Premier League’s bumper television deal, clubs receive a fraction of prize money in the Championship compared to the top tier.

Newcastle United were give £7.1m for winning the second tier last season, while their North East rivals Sunderland picked up £100m for finishing bottom of the Premier League. Albion received £120m for finishing 10th.

Other clubs, such as Sunderland, have been stung by big contracts without wage drops in them after getting relegated.

The Black Cats are still paying Jack Rodwell £70,000 a week, for example, despite languishing in the bottom three of the Championship.

But the Baggies, who currently sit second bottom of the Premier League and face a fight for survival over the last 14 games of this season, have protected themselves against the eventuality.

The average weekly wage in the Premier League has passed £50,000 this season, although that is skewed by astronomical fees at the top six clubs.

That is significantly more than the Championship, where players are on far less on average.

Albion’s top earner is Paris Saint-Germain loanee Grzegorz Krychowiak, who is on £108,000 a week, although he will be completely removed from the wage bill at the end of the season when his loan comes to an end.

The Baggies are open to selling Evans in this window, although Arsenal are now in pole position to sign him after Manchester City cooled their interest.

They will use the funds to buy attackers further up the pitch, and if he is not sold, will delve into the loan market.

However, an audacious loan move for World Cup winner and Borussia Dortmund midfielder Andre Schurrle is not in the pipeline, despite reports elsewhere suggesting it could be.