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Saturday, 27 July, 2002, 15:25 GMT 16:25 UK
Wages row rocks Baggies
Baggies celebration champagne could turn flat under a wages row
Baggies celebration champagne could turn flat
A row over players' bonuses threatens to undermine West Bromwich Albion's return to the top flight.

Albion's first-team squad have taken the unprecedented step of issuing a statement, accusing the Baggies of behaving with "the attitude of a First Division club."

The players are angry that initial plans for a 15,000-a-win per man bonus scheme - put forward by former chairman Paul Thompson - have since been scrapped.

Their statement to the Express and Star read: "We feel the players have been portrayed as greedy and we want to show the supporters this is not the case.

"We are all privileged to play for this club and do not want to destroy the special relationship with the fans.

"However, the players feel we deserve to share in the success that promotion brought to the club.

"For winning promotion an Albion player received an average of 4,000 in bonuses.

"Many of the players who joined this club took pay cuts because they wanted to play football.

"We came to an understanding that if we succeeded the players would be rewarded, but this has not happened.

"It is clear the club is now offering us First Division basic pay with First Division bonuses.

"This is the attitude of a First Division club.

"Every one of the players is disappointed things have come to this but we feel we have to put our side of the argument."

The row surfaces just two days after manager Gary Megson was rewarded with a new contract for guiding Albion into the Premiership.

Megson's new contract will keep him at The Hawthorns until 2005.


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27 Jul 02 | Leeds United
27 Jul 02 | Man Utd
27 Jul 02 | Football
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