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Exclusive: Barry Fry questions West Brom owner after Ismael deal

Barry Fry has criticised West Bromwich Albion’s hierarchy after sending mixed messages during their search for a new manager.

Valerien Ismael was appointed as Albion’s new boss last month, taking over after Sam Allardyce decided against signing an extended contract following the club’s relegation from the Premier League.

The Baggies, who have suffered an immediate return to the Championship, paid a £2million compensation fee to ensure they could steal Ismael away from Barnsley.

Were West Brom right to appoint Valerien Ismael as their new manager?

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Yes

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No

But Peterborough United director of football Fry insists the move came as a shock as it involved West Brom changing their initial plans.

Lincoln City boss Michael Appleton was among the original names linked with taking over at the Hawthorns but owner Guochuan Lai decided against firming up the interest due to being unwilling to pay compensation for his services.

Former Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder was originally linked with the club, along with ex-Huddersfield Town chief David Wagner, but Ismael has been handed the reins.

Fry, speaking exclusively to Football FanCast, said: “I’ve heard all sorts of things about the owner. He didn’t want to pay any compensation to anybody and that’s why they didn’t get Michael Appleton from Lincoln.

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“Wilder was certainly the choice of all the fans but the owner obviously didn’t fancy that one. 

“The club have now gone for the Barnsley manager and paid £2million. Six weeks ago, the owner said he wasn’t going to pay any compensation for anybody.”

Article title: Exclusive: Barry Fry questions West Brom owner after Ismael deal

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