Record signings - but criticism over Berahino saga
ALBION Chairman Jeremy Peace says the Club committed to record spending levels in this summer’s transfer window.
The market closed with Albion having added seven signings to the squad which finished the previous campaign.
The six permanent deals which brought James McClean, James Chester, Rickie Lambert, Salomon Rondon, Jonny Evans and Anders Lindegaard to the club, along with the season-long loan deal for Serge Gnabry, represent a transfer fee commitment of up to £36million – a club record for a single window.
The addition of January arrivals Darren Fletcher and Callum McManaman means Albion’s transfer spending for 2015 has broken the £40m barrier.
Today’s sale of Joleon Lescott to Aston Villa saw the total of players exiting since January reach 10, leaving Head Coach Tony Pulis with a senior squad of 23 made up of 20 outfield players and three keepers.
“We have spent a record amount of money on transfers for a single window and our wage commitments will be at record levels too,” said Peace.
“We have pushed our spending on new players as far as we can, ever-mindful of the fact that we have to run the Club on a solvent basis and within the Financial Fair Play rules.
“We have confidence in the squad which will now carry us forward under Tony’s guidance.”
Peace revealed that the final day of transfer business did not pass without Tottenham making two further attempts to sign Albion’s top scorer from the 2014-15 campaign, Saido Berahino.
The striker has been the subject of two previous rejected bids from Albion’s Premier League rivals. Tottenham’s third and fourth attempts met the same fate today.
Peace said: “We have a key player who has been very unsettled by antics which were designed to get him out of our club cheaply.
"Those tactics have continued despite my making our position clear in my first conversation with Daniel Levy on this subject in mid-August.
“I said selling Saido so late in the window was not on our agenda.
“Tottenham’s offers failed substantially to reflect Saido’s true value while the timing made no allowance for our own recruitment of a suitable replacement for a proven Premier League goalscorer.
“Saido has been unsettled to the point where our Head Coach has not felt able to select him for our last three games.
“We are now left with the task of repairing the damage created by this unfortunate episode.”