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Ron Gourlay: We have to give Carlos Corberan time to build at West Brom

Albion chief executive Ron Gourlay has revealed his plea to owner and controlling shareholder Guochuan Lai to provide time for new boss Carlos Corberan to build solid foundations at the club.

Carlos Corberan (Getty/WBA)
Carlos Corberan (Getty/WBA)

The club this week appointed Carlos Corberan as the ninth permanent head coach or manager at The Hawthorns of the Lai era, which began in 2016.

Gourlay was appointed in February and immediately set out to conduct a thorough revamp of Albion’s failings. He brought Steve Bruce straight to the helm, but that reign lasted just eight months with the Baggies in the Championship relegation places.

And CEO Gourlay has stressed stability and continuity is required, adding he told Lai that Corberan’s appointment must be a line in the sand. “Carlos has been brought in here and we know what the challenges are,” Gourlay said. “Carlos is here to build a team for the future.

“We have to draw the line on this. It’s not just West Brom, it’s happening in football.

“What’s the term of a manager now? It’s putting enormous pressure on the clubs. You make changes and it sets clubs back.

“Five managers I look back on have brought in four, five, six players. Total imbalance. Next guy comes in and he’s fighting for his life to bring in his own players.

It’s a roll on. It has to stop. My message to the owner was that it stops now, it can’t continue. It might be my view, but that’s what it is. It won’t continue with me at the helm. We can’t keep changing – somebody somewhere along the line has to be strong. That’s my position on this.”

Tony Pulis was in charge during the club’s takeover but, following his sacking in November 2017, there have been eight permanent bosses brought into the club, each with their own ideas, philosophies and types of player.

They include Alan Pardew, Darren Moore, Jimmy Shan, Slaven Bilic, Sam Allardyce, Valerien Ismael, Bruce and now Corberan. At just 18 months, Bilic’s tenure was the longest.

Gourlay said: “I have to give Carlos my total support. We’re bringing a top, top coach in. I’m very passionate about it. Nobody is trying to fail at the club, we’re trying to move it forward. It’s a difficult time, but this is the time when you look over shoulder and you see who’s there.

“I understand, I’ve been around it long enough. But it’s not like that and you can’t change it like that. It’s fine margins. That belief, confidence, organisation, I think Carlos will bring that to the quality players we have at the club.

“I’m not talking for Carlos, he eloquently does that himself.”

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