Shropshire Star

Reporter Lewis Cox tackles burning Baggies questions

We asked our Express & Star Plus subscribers to send in their questions for Albion reporter Lewis Cox to tackle.

Albion reporter Lewis Cox has been answering subscribers’ questions

Here, we have pulled out six of the best as Albion prepare to face up to another season in the Championship – and this time without any Premier League parachute payments.

Are losses posted going to have an impact on spending possibilities this summer?

Yes. The club are clearly in a far better position now, under Shilen Patel, than they were with Guochuan Lai and the forecast for the mid-to-long term is rightly bright.

But it doesn’t mean there won’t be challenges immediately as Albion look to recover from the situation Patel invested in.

The accounts to June 2023 published to Companies House in April made for some tough, but not surprising, reading. Losses at club level were £11million and £7.6m at group level. The next set of accounts, for the year to June 2024 – covering the season just completed – will be damning and significantly worse.

This season has been the first without Premier League parachute payments and until the late February takeover it was a season of no investment.

Current financial fair play’s profit and sustainability rules state Championship clubs cannot lose more than £39m over three seasons (£13m per season, taken from group level). The significant increase in losses next year will see Albion sail close to choppy waters in this regard, so there is a lot to be done to address that and make up for it.

Part of that means that millions of pounds of outlay on new signings isn’t realistic or feasible. That’s how it is for the here and now and the short-term future at least. When it comes to recruitment, it will take some wheeling and dealing.

Obviously out-of-contract players have departed. Some of those that stay would have to take deductions to do so. It’s a line in the sand this summer for Albion. There is no drastic change in the immediate where Albion can spend millions now Shilen Patel is in.

Will we lower the average age of the squad?

This was put to Carlos Corberan a few weeks ago, about Albion having the average age in the Championship.