Former West Brom forward Kevin Phillips has revealed his surprise at seeing the club’s former Director of Football Luke Dowling exit the club, speaking with West Brom News.
Dowling left the club on Monday by mutual consent in the midst of the Championship side’s search for a new manager, a process that has been now been going on since Sam Allardyce announced his departure last month.
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Despite the chaos at the Hawthorns, 47-year-old Phillips has admitted his surprise at the departure of Dowling and said: “It’s a surprise, it looks like they’re having a shake-up.
“I’m very surprised and didn’t see it coming so it will be interesting to see what happens moving forward and who they appoint in terms of the new manager, et cetera.
“Whether he wants to head in a different direction or there’s something else in the pipeline, it will be interesting to see what follows.”
The Baggies are yet to appoint a manager let alone a new Director of Football, so the former striker may have a long wait to see who replaces Dowling in the West Midlands.
Although the club failed to cite a reason for his departure in their club statement, West Brom owner Guochuan Lai has taken a very hands-on approach to the managerial recruitment process and vetoed a planned move for former Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder, perhaps inflaming tensions in the boardroom.
Ironically, one man’s (Wilder) strained relationship with an owner probably caused another man in Dowling to have a difficult relationship with his club’s owner.
The Baggies desperately need to regroup in a swift manner after their relegation and this makes the current managerial situation an absolute farce.
Whoever is finally appointed will have a disadvantage against a side like Sheffield United who appointed their new boss way back at the end of last month. This is how costly the indecisiveness in the boardroom has become – and they need to find a new man quickly.
Phillips’ contacts in the game and his striking surprise at this departure could signal how quickly the relationship between Dowling and the club broke down – but that story may not come out for a while.
But regardless of that and the events of the past few weeks, the recently relegated side needs to dust themselves down and start ramping up preparations ahead of next season.