West Bromwich Albion journalist and podcaster Chris Lepkowski has been sharing his thoughts on the recent departure of sporting director Luke Dowling.
On the subject of Dowling’s exit and how the club’s reported interest in appointing Chris Wilder as their new permanent manager and its apparent breakdown could have led to his departure, Lepkowski had this to say on the matter.
He said: “It didn’t surprise me, this news, because it was very apparent last week when it emerged that Chris Wilder had been favourite, he appeared to be very keen to take the job, Luke Dowling seemed very keen to appoint him and in a normal, non-Albion world, we would be now welcoming the first few days of Chris Wilder as Albion manager and of course, that didn’t work out.
“It’s been reported by others, that pressure came from the owners, the Chinese owners that they didn’t wish to have Chris Wilder on board. There were concerns about his time at Sheffield United.
“So that particular rug was pulled, and it left Luke Dowling in an extremely vulnerable position – the guy charged with finding Sam Allardyce’s successor, all of a sudden being told, ‘actually, you can have a manager, but you can’t have him.’”
TIF Thoughts on Chris Lepkowski’s comments on Dowling’s departure…
With the club’s owner Guochuan Lai reportedly blocking Wilder’s proposed appointment at West Brom to replace Sam Allardyce, and now with former Huddersfield Town manager David Wagner out of the running for the job after taking a job at Young Boys, it’s understandable, in our view, why Dowling has stepped down from the club after being put in a difficult situation by the owner over who the next Baggies boss could be.
Do you have any sympathy for Luke Dowling?
Taking a look at the bigger picture, it feels to us that by blocking Wilder for the job, this has just caused further problems for the club on the whole now that Dowling has departed and left the Baggies still without a permanent manager and now a sporting director.
Moving forward, if the owners at West Brom can appoint a manager to lead the team forward and find a replacement for Dowling who can pull the strings behind the scenes, then this would be the best way of getting the club back on track and out of their current mess, in our view.
However, it remains to be seen how detrimental their actions and decisions over the last few days will be in relation to their recruitment searches and success on the pitch next season.