West Brom have been relegated from the Premier League following Southampton’s 1-0 win over Swansea at the Liberty Stadium.
Darren Moore’s side needed a draw between the Saints and Swans to take West Brom’s fight to avoid relegation into the final day of the season on Sunday. Southampton’s win confirmed West Brom’s return to the Championship after eight seasons in the top flight, with an eighth place finish the best the Baggies managed during the 2012/13 season with Steve Clarke in charge.
West Brom’s season started well with six points taken from a possible six after successive 1-0 wins at home to Bournemouth and away to Burnley. However, after picking up just four points from a possible 30, Tony Pulis was sacked two days after losing 4-0 at home to Chelsea and was replaced by Gary Megson, who temporarily took charge of two games – the 1-1 draw at Tottenham and the 2-2 draw at home to Newcastle.
Alan Pardew was named permanent manager but his arrival failed to deliver the improvement needed to guide the side away from relegation. Pardew, who led the Baggies to an FA Cup fourth round victory at Liverpool, took charge of 17 league games, but a 2-0 home win against Brighton was all he had to show for his efforts.
Problems off the pitch added to the disappointment on it when a mid-season trip to Barcelona made the headlines for the wrong reasons. Four senior players, including captain Jonny Evans and England midfielder Jake Livermore, were forced to apologise after a taxi was stolen from outside a fast-food restaurant.
On April 2, Pardew’s time was up and he was replaced by Moore until the end of the season, becoming West Brom’s fourth manager of the campaign. Since Moore’s appointment, West Brom have taken 11 points from a possible 15 to keep alive the hope of a great escape that would be considered a greater achievement than the one that Bryan Robson masterminded at the end of the 2004/05 season.
As the Baggies’ plan for the Championship, they will no doubt spend the summer wondering what might have happened had they appointed Moore earlier in their troubled season. West Brom were labelled a ‘boing boing’ side after experiencing four promotions and four relegations between the Championship and the Premier League between 2002 and 2011. Supporters will hope the club can bounce back to the top flight at the first attempt next season.