West Bromwich Albion Profile
|Short Name||West Brom|
|Major Honours||First Division/ Premier League (1), Second Division/ Championship (3), Third Division/ League One (1), FA Cup (5), League Cup (1)|
West Brom contest in two of the fiercest derbies in English soccer. As such, they have been pushed and have seen a great amount of success over their long history.
West Bromwich Albion Football Club are an English professional soccer club based in West Bromwich, which is in the West Midlands of England. They compete in the Championship, which is the second tier of the English soccer ladder. West Brom were relegated to the Championship at the end of the 2020/21 Premier League season.
The club is nicknamed "The Baggies" and they have been in and out of the Premier League since the turn of the millennium, providing fans with some thoroughly entertaining and effective soccer during their stints in the top flight.
However, West Brom's history predates the Premier League years by some distance, stretching as far back as 1878. They have played their home games at the Hawthorns since 1900.
West Bromwich Albion early history
West Bromwich Albion FC was founded in 1878 by workers at George Salter's Spring Works. Initially, the club was named West Bromwich Strollers, but they changed their name to West Bromwich Albion as early as 1880.
In 1883, West Brom won their first trophy, the Staffordshire Cup. They also joined the FA Cup in that year. This enabled them to enter the FA Cup the following season, which was 1883/84.
The club turned professional in 1885, and the following year, they reached their first ever FA Cup final but lost to Blackburn Rovers in a replay.
Albion reached the final once again in 1887, but on this occasion, they were beaten 2-0 by their Midlands rivals, Aston Villa.
However, in 1888, West Brom finally went all the way and lifted the FA Cup trophy, beating heavy favourites Preston North End 2-1 in the final of the tournament. As a result of their FA Cup win, West Brom played a one-off Football World Championship game against Scottish Cup winners Renton, with the Baggies losing the match 4-1.
Albion were among the 12 founder members of the Football League and they won their second FA Cup trophy in 1892, beating Aston Villa 3-0 in the final.
In 1919/20, West Brom won the Football League title for the first time in their history. They were once again winners of the FA Cup in 1930/31, the same season which saw them gain promotion after having dropped down a division four years prior.
Albion were relegated once again in 1938, but after they were promoted to the top flight once more in 1948/49, they had their longest uninterrupted spell there -- 24 years in the division.
Glory years and decline
Albion came agonisingly close to winning the league and cup double in 1953/54. Ultimately, they managed to win the FA Cup, but fell short in the race for the First Division title after losing form towards the end of the season. Rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers scooped up the title.
Albion remained successful in the 1950s and the 1960s. Their last major trophy to date remains the 1968 FA Cup title. In the 1980s, Albion went into severe decline. They were relegated in 1985/86 and then dropped to the Third Division for the only time in their long history five years afterwards.
West Brom in the Premier League era
Gary Megson led West Brom to the Premier League for the first time in the modern era of top flight football in England in 2001/02. Although they suffered relegation at the first attempt, they immediately bounced back, gaining promotion to the top flight.
In 2004/05, Bryan Robson led West Brom to a "great escape" from the drop zone in the Premier League. West Brom had been bottom of the table on Christmas and yet Robson was able to steer them clear of relegation. Nevertheless, West Brom were relegated the following season.
Albion featured in the Premier League once again in the 2008/09 season, but suffered immediate relegation. They won promotion in 2009/10 with Roberto Di Matteo at the helm and then stabilised in the Premier League under Di Matteo's successor, Roy Hodgson.
In 2016, long-serving owner Jeremy Peace sold the Baggies to a Chinese investment group with Lai Guochuan at the helm. West Brom were relegated from the Premier League at the end of the 2017/18 season.
Albion featured once again in the Premier League in 2020/21 after Slaven Bilic earned them promotion from the Championship during the previous season. However, Bilic was shown the exit midway through the Premier League season and replaced by Sam Allardyce, who was unable to keep West Brom in the Premier League and then announced his own departure from the club.
"People are still trying to [say] that there is blame, that he's not been given this or that - shut up the lot of you, because it's a load of rubbish," said Allardyce, as quoted by Sky Sports.
"It was done amicably, it was done in the right way. It is the best way I have ever left a football club in terms of our negotiations and what we both decided, and we amicably shook hands for what we've tried to do.
"There is no undercurrent or whispers, so all you people out there on social media, shut up, because it isn't happening.
"I know they'd made me an offer and were disappointed I didn't accept it, but we have to move on and West Brom have to get the best possible manager to get them back in the Premier League."
Allardyce added: "Sorry as I am to leave, I think it's time for West Brom to find a new manager and me to give it a break, get on my holidays, chill out and get over the bitter disappointment I've felt for quite a few weeks now.
"I feel that in my position, where I've managed in the short-term over the last few years, I've become comfortable with that side of it.
"If someone came along with a longer project who knows, but at the moment that's not for me. Certainly not in the very near future, because it's about getting away and recovering from the disappointment of the last six months."
Valerien Ismael ultimately took over as West Brom's new head coach but was sacked and replaced by Steve Bruce.
West Bromwich Albion's fanbase
The official West Bromwich Albion Supporters Club was founded on 4 October 1951 and has grown to now have more than 30 branches established in many countries, including Jersey, Spain, Ireland, Malta, Australia, India and Thailand.
They are also some of the most accepting fans, having supporters groups for Punjabi supporters, those with disabilities and LGBT people.
The fans have adopted a fun tradition in recent years. To celebrate the season's end, for the last away game the fans will don a themed fancy dress.
West Bromwich Albion's rivalries
Aston Villa and Wolverhampton Wanderers are generally considered to be the natural rivals of West Brom, a fellow Midlands club.
The history between the Baggies and Aston Villa stretches back to the three FA Cup finals the two contested with each other between 1887 and 1895, where Villa came out on top by winning two out of the three finals.
However, in recent times, West Brom fans have seen Wolves as a bigger derby, as for some time, while Villa was in a different division to them, Wolves were a mainstay alongside the Baggies.
Nicknamed the Black Country derby, it is one of the longest standing derbies in world soccer, and is considered one of the fiercest rivalries in English soccer. They have played each other 160 times, with West Brom coming out the victors the most at 65 times to Wolves' 53.
The derby holds the claim as being the joint oldest in English league soccer, dating back to the inception of the English Football League in 1888. Their first major clash came two years before in 1886, when the two sides met in an FA Cup tie.
Fans from both sides claim the rivalry runs a lot deeper than football.
West Bromwich Albion's finances
Lai Guochuan remains Albion's owner with Li Piyue the club's current chairman.
West Bromwich Albion News
- Aug 31, 2022