Sam Allardyce will step down as West Brom manager at the end of the season but unusually he is helping the club find his successor.
West Brom and Allardyce released separate statements on the club’s website explaining his pending departure following Wednesday night’s 3-1 defeat to West Ham United.
The Baggies have one Premier League game left this season, away to Leeds United, and then Allardyce, long-time assistant Sammy Lee and first team coach Robbie Stockdale will all leave The Hawthorns.
The 66-year-old was honest in why he wanted to stand down, explaining that he believes the club need a younger and more ambitious manager longer term.
Allardyce explained: “West Bromwich Albion made me a generous offer to stay at The Hawthorns that shows the commitment of an ambitious club. After serious consideration I have decided not to accept that offer.
“If I were to stay and achieve promotion next season the expectation would be for me to continue for at least another season and, sadly, that is not a commitment I feel able to make at this stage of my career.
“I believe the club now needs stability and continuity and this would, in my opinion, best be provided by a young and ambitious manager who can get us back to where we should be as an established Premier League football club.
“I must thank the players and staff, in particular Luke Dowling and Ken (chief executive Xu Ke), for their unwavering commitment to a very difficult challenge during my time at the club.
“This challenge was made all the more difficult, of course, by the enforced absence of the club’s fantastic supporters, some of whom I am delighted were present for our final home game against West Ham United.
“The club have asked for my opinion on the qualities my successor will require and I have been more than happy to offer my thoughts. The search for my replacement starts after the final game of the season at Leeds United.
“In the meantime, we will be concentrating fully on the preparation for that game and will do everything we can to finish the season with as many points as possible.”
West Brom’s relegation to the Championship was confirmed with three games remaining, following their defeat to Arsenal on May 9.
Next season will be West Brom’s third in four where they will be plying their trade in the Championship, having previously spent eight years in the top flight.
And the Baggies’ sporting and technical director Luke Dowling admitted the club had hoped to persuade Allardyce to remain at The Hawthorns despite his first ever relegation.
Dowling said: “Sam, Sammy and Robbie came in at a really difficult time for the football club and worked tirelessly in their efforts to keep the club in the Premier League.
“Unfortunately, collectively, we were unable to achieve our goal of surviving relegation. In the second half of the season we played with passion and desire, delivering some memorable results with organised, entertaining football.
“Ultimately, we were unable to accumulate the points total required to keep us here, but Sam certainly restored pride with a number of resilient displays.
“Sam, Ken (Chief Executive, Xu Ke) and I have discussed at length our plans for the future and we very much hoped to have Sam in charge for next season and beyond.
“Sam and his coaching staff have been excellent to work with and I would like to thank them all for their efforts.
“Sam has given his reasons for leaving and we respect his decision. He has been brilliant to work with and I wish him, Sammy and Robbie all the very best in the future. They will always be welcome at The Hawthorns.”