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Some West Brom fans “overjoyed” if Pulis quits, says supporters’ group chairman

Date Posted,June 1, 2017

Tony Pulis has been told some West Brom fans would be “overjoyed” if he left this summer.

Boss Pulis ’ Baggies future is in doubt, with just 12 months left on his £2million-a-year contract.

His plans for next term have been badly dented by skipper Darren Fletcher walking out this week at the end of his own deal to join Premier League rivals Stoke on a free.

Now the Welshman is believed to be open to a lucrative long-term offer from elsewhere after plans to give him an extension at The Hawthorns were put on ice.

Neil Reynolds, chairman of the Shareholders For Albion group, met members of the club’s hierarchy last week and says many fans are very unhappy with arch-pragmatist Pulis’ tactics.

Losing Fletcher to neighbours Stoke has affected Pulis’ plans for next season (Photo: Phil Greig/Stoke City)

West Brom finished tenth in the season just ended — a solitary point off eighth, and being the highest-placed team not to qualify for Europe. But they won just once in their last 12 matches, losing seven of the last eight and not tasting victory after March 18. Over the season, they scored only 43 goals in 38 league games.

Reynolds, who represents the club’s 432 minor shareholders, told MirrorSport: “If you want to stay up, then you will like Tony Pulis. If your expectations are more than that, it is very questionable whether he is the right man for the job.

“I just don’t like the style of football. Other people are prepared to put up with it, but I and a growing number of others are not.

West Bromwich Albion's Craig Dawson celebrates scoring their first goal
West Brom were safe with weeks to spare but the March 18 win over Arsenal was their last (Photo: Getty Images)

“There are many fans who would be overjoyed if he left today and that is without knowing they have X or Y to come in. They would just prefer anybody instead of Pulis.

“If Pulis did go, I’d expect there would be a surge in season ticket sales.

“Generally those aged 30 or below are more than prepared to accept what is being served up as long as the results keep coming. The older fans believe there is a tradition about the Albion and we are not happy with the lack of entertainment and the negativity.

“Even in many home games, the aim seems to be to go for a goalless draw and if we sneak a win then fine. I don’t think Pulis will ever win over those fans, unless he changes his style.

Pulis’ peers such as Pep Guardiola appreciate his work more than fans of his clubs do (Photo: Getty)

“If the club backs him to the extent that we think they will, that gives him the opportunity to sign more adventurous players and play a more adventurous style.

“If he has X million pounds to spend and buys more defenders and no players with flair, it will prove a point. But if he does buy players with flair and is able to win attractively, he will win people around.”

Pulis has never been relegated as a manager and got Stoke promoted before establishing them in the Premier League.

They also reached the 2011 FA Cup final and qualified for Europe under him but he was sacked four years ago, also amid grumbles from fans about the football his teams played.

The Welshman with his Manager of the Tear award after leading Palace’s great escape (Photo: Action Images)

He was then named Manager of the Year after keeping Crystal Palace up having inherited a side that had just taken four points from the first 11 games, but then controversially quit the Londoners two days before the 2014-15 season started.

And Pulis has faced persistent sniping at Albion, despite keeping them up after joining in January 2015.

Reynolds added: “My understanding is he won’t walk out. But if somebody came in with an attractive offer, he’d go.”

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