Big Sam: I’d stay if West Brom aim to bounce back

Sam Allardyce is willing to stay at Albion if they are relegated to the Championship – but only if he is guaranteed a budget that will allow them to bounce straight back to the Premier League.

The Baggies travel to take on Chelsea tomorrow sitting 10 points from safety and with just nine games left to pull off a great escape.

With relegation now highly likely, speculation has mounted over Allardyce’s future with fans wondering whether he would be interested in staying on and managing in the Championship.

Asked if he had considered his future at the club should they be relegated, Allardyce said he would need guarantees on which players could be kept and what the budget would be to bounce straight back.

“That’s a long discussion with Luke (technical director Luke Dowling) and Ken (chief executive Xu Ke) on what changes do they think they have to make financially,” he said.

“How much money do they think they need to save? How many key players do they think they would have to let go? What budget would be available from then on?

“That’s a very complex situation to sit down and look at.

“If I’m to stay at West Brom, I’d want to be getting them back in the Premier League at the first time of asking – like I did when I joined West Ham.

“I wouldn’t want to mess about. I’d want to get straight back.

“But we all need to be going in the same direction to do that.

“I have to say the support here, from Luke and from Ken and from the owner and the back room staff, I couldn’t ask for any more from that point of view.

“The support has always been there. And as disappointed as we have all been, we have tried to keep as cheerful as we possibly can to keep going forward.

“The support I have had has made me feel very comfortable in trying to do my job correctly.”

Allardyce signed an 18-month deal at The Hawthorns when he replaced the sacked Slaven Bilic back in December.

He has previously said he will remain in charge for the 2021/22 campaign if he keeps the Baggies in the Premier League.

But he confirmed there is a break clause in his contract that allows for a mutual parting of the ways this summer if Albion go down and either him or the club want to go in a different direction.

He said: “It is in the contract – that is all done (Allardyce staying if Albion survive).

“We left the other side of it open to us both agreeing what we are going to do.

“If one of us disagrees we hold our hands up and say ‘thank you very much’.

“If we both agree to go forward we get on with it.”

Around a month ago, Allardyce revealed the Albion hierarchy was making plans for next season whatever division they are.

At the time he said he hadn’t been involved in those talks. But he has now had some brief discussions with the board.

“The plans being made are only financial at the moment,” he added.

“It’s not been discussing players or what type of pre-season we might have.

“We have had some discussions about things both ways without actually nailing anything down – just starting the process.

“Once our fate is known, we have to be ready to pounce.

“Hopefully, I will still be here next

year because we’re in the Premier League.”

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