Express & Star

Shilen Patel makes West Brom 2024/25 "better" vow

Bullish owner Shilen Patel believes Albion will go "two better" and challenge for promotion next season as he lauded the work of skipper Jed Wallace.


Albion's Championship campaign ended in play-off semi-final disappointment in Southampton on Friday night with a 3-1 defeat.

It brings to an end the first season of the Patel era after the Florida investor's takeover in February and the first full season under head coach Carlos Corberan.

Patel, who attended both play-off legs against the Saints, took to social media to confirm his promotion-winning ambition for the 2024/25 Championship campaign in response to a post made by captain Wallace in wake of the Saints defeat.

Wallace's post on X initially stated Albion will work to "try to go one better" next season following semi-final disappointment, but Patel posted: "*Two better."

His tweet added: "This year you exemplified what it takes for a team to exceed expectation. Selflessness, resilience, adaptability, and maximum effort. A captain who personifies those traits makes all the difference. #COYB"

Winger Wallace, 30, was Corberan's choice as club captain at the beginning of the Spaniard's first full campaign.

The former Millwall man made 45 appearances for Albion this season, including starts in 35 of 46 Championship games. He has played 95 times for the club in his two seasons.

Wallace has regularly had to show his adaptability, as referenced by Patel, in taking on the more alien centre-forward role given the Baggies' struggles with striking availability this term.

Top goalscorer Brandon Thomas-Asante has, for the most part this term, been Albion's only available recognised striker given long-term injuries for Josh Maja and Daryl Dike. Wallace has been selected to share the load in leading the line at times, including in last Friday's second leg disappointment.

Wallace posted to X: "Thank you to all my brilliant team mates, staff and most importantly our fans for your support throughout the season.

"As a group we gave everything we had all season but ultimately fell a bit short to the better team on the night.

"We will come back stronger next season & try to go one better."

Corberan has held talks with chairman Patel during the latter's several visits to England and the club's training ground since February, with plans for the summer and beyond among the subject matter.

The head coach spent the weekend firming up decisions on the club's 10 senior out of contract players with change expected at The Hawthorns this summer as Albion bid to lower the squad's wage bill to help draw more in line with financial fair play regulations.

Patel completed his 87.8 per cent Bilkul Football WBA takeover along with father Dr Kiran Patel from Guochuan Lai earlier this year.