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Ex-Chelsea chief Ron Gourlay appointed West Brom board adviser

Albion have appointed former Chelsea and Reading chief executive Ron Gourlay as a consultant to the club’s board.

Ron Gourlay
Ron Gourlay

The Scotsman will assist the Baggies in a wide range of areas, including player arrivals and departures.

Gourlay has been brought in after sporting and technical director Luke Dowling left The Hawthorns by mutual consent last month.

Albion, like Gourlay’s former club Reading, are under Chinese ownership.

And it is understood the Baggies board have turned to him as they seek to make the additions they need to secure a swift return to the Premier League.

Albion have not formally announced Gourlay is working in a consultancy role for the club.

But at his unveiling yesterday, new head coach Valerien Ismael was asked who is helping him to identify new signings.

And he revealed chief executive Xu Ke, head of recruitment Ian Pearce and Gourlay are the men helping him in his search.

“We are close with Ken (Xu Ke), Ian Pearce and Ron Gourlay.

“We will work closely together.

“I think it’s the new way the club wanted and it’s exactly what I want.

“I need to have my focus on the pitch.

“I’ve explained to the club exactly the profile of player I need in each position.

“So the club knows what profile we are looking for.”

It is well documented that Albion owner Guochuan Lai wants to sell the club.

The Chinese businessman became the Baggies majority shareholder when he bought the club for around £200million in July 2016. As it stands, the club is not worth anywhere near that with Albion needing to earn a place in the Premier League – and then stay there for a season or two – before Lai has any chance of recouping what he paid.

Ismael was asked at his press conference yesterday if the owner wanting to sell makes him feel uncertain about his future.

But he said his only focus is on the team and getting results.

“My job is on the training ground,” he said.

“I have enough to do to implement the philosophy and this is my only concern.

“We have a big focus, with my staff, on that task.

“Everything else I’m not the right person to be talking to.”

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