End may loom for Megson

last updated Monday 13th September 2004, 1:55 PM
Gary Megson could today find out that he no longer has a career with West Bromwich Albion - and rumours are rife that the club has already identified a replacement.

Stories that the Albion manager will not be offered a new contract when his present deal runs out at the end of the season effectively mean that Megson will either be sacked or forced to resign.

Gary Megson
Gary Megson

Jeremy Peace, the Albion chairman who returned from holiday at the weekend, will meet Megson this afternoon in a secret location to discuss the issues that have contributed to the breakdown in communication.

Peace is unhappy with a number of divisive comments made by Megson over the past 18 months that have questioned the club’s ambition.

To make matters worse, Albion’s 3-0 defeat away to Liverpool on Saturday means that they have failed to win any of their opening five Premiership matches this season.

Peace refused to discuss the matter after the match at Anfield and has, so far, kept a diplomatic silence. Megson, however, has made confidential comments to various journalists concerning the problems and he has already hinted that the sack is likely.

In an effort to avoid the controversy and perhaps keep attention on Albion’s match at Anfield, Megson refused to shed new light on stories claiming that his days are numbered.

“There is no friction between myself and the board,” Megson said. “I have read a lot but none of it is emanating from me. Nothing has been said to me about my future. All I can do is my job. I do not know what my future is.”

It appears that, in this instance, Peace does. And, one way or another, he intends to use that knowledge.

“I am the manager here until someone tells me different,” Megson said. “I know I cannot rest on my laurels and rely on what I have done for this club since I took over. A club must always go forward but, as long as I am manager, I will give it all I have got.”

Megson, aged 44, took over as Albion manager during the 1999-2000 season and has twice steered the club into the Premiership. However, his autocratic style has never endeared himself to his employers.

He fell out with Paul Thompson, the previous chairman, in 2002 and did not take long to have a similar relationship with Peace, who took over in 2002.

Megson has been worried about the sack since May 2003 but was able to buy time by taking the club back into the Premiership at the end of last season.

However, despite being warned about his comments, he continues to make broad hints over his dissatisfaction with the amount of money he is given to spent on new players.

If Megson is sacked, he will surely regret his conduct. If he keeps his job, he will be obliged to change his style. Either way, The Hawthorns is sure to be a calmer place after today.

Source icBirmingham by Hyder Jawad
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