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New West Brom boss will need to trim the wage bill

By Matt Wilson | West Bromwich Albion | Published:

Slaven Bilic will be asked to cut player wages this summer to protect Albion’s financial future – if he is appointed the club’s new head coach.

Slaven Bilic is the current front-runner.

Albion’s new boss will have to trim last season’s £38million wage bill, although it has already been lowered.

Six loanees have returned to their parent clubs and five senior players out of contract have not been offered new deals.

However, those departures have left Albion needing to buy a large number of players, which means a significant portion of their budget is likely to be spent on transfer fees.

Bilic is the current front-runner for the vacant head coach role after speaking to the board twice last week and could be appointed this week if terms are agreed.

It’s believed both parties are keen to reach an agreement with the Croatian eager to get back into English football.

Albion will still have a strong budget for the Championship next season and their wage bill will be above the estimated £20m average.

But their parachute payments from the Premier League dwindle from £41.6m to £35m.

In January, chief executive Mark Jenkins took out a bank overdraft against July’s parachute payments but the club didn’t end up needing it.

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The Baggies are yet to appoint a new manager, despite it being nearly four weeks since they lost to Villa in the play-offs and more than three months since Darren Moore was sacked.

Most of Albion’s players are currently on holiday but the squad returns for pre-season training in two weeks’ time on Monday, June 24.

One Baggie still in action is Oliver Burke, who turned out to be Scotland’s hero over the weekend.

The 22-year-old came off the bench to score a last-gasp winner for Steve Clarke’s team against Cyprus, following up his own header after it ricocheted off the post.

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“It was an amazing feeling to get my first senior Scotland goal,” said Burke. “Credit to the boys they were fantastic and I’m really happy for the team.”

Victory kept Scotland’s Euro 2020 qualification hopes alive ahead of tomorrow’s match with Belgium.

Villa midfielder John McGinn admitted: “We were moments away from our campaign ending really.

“We had to show character. The manager is clear on how important 14 players are on a match day and Oli’s winner was crucial for us.”

Matt Wilson

By Matt Wilson
Football MMPJ - @mattwilson_star

Sports reporter at the Express & Star, who primarily covers West Bromwich Albion.

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