Mark Jenkins: West Bromwich Albion chief executive retires following promotion

West Bromwich Albion chief executive Mark Jenkins
Mark Jenkins returned to West Bromwich Albion as chief executive in February 2018, having previously held the role between 2010 and 2016

West Bromwich Albion chief executive Mark Jenkins has announced his retirement in the wake of the club's promotion back to the Premier League.

Jenkins said he had "done the job" he was brought back to do.

He was in his second spell at The Hawthorns, having previously filled the CEO role until 2016.

Jenkins left following the sale of the club by Jeremy Peace to a Chinese investment group led by entrepreneur Guochuan Lai but returned in 2018.

At that time, Albion were in freefall in the Premier League and heading for relegation to the Championship.

"When I was asked to return by Mr Lai, my primary objective was to retain Premier League status," said Jenkins.

"I remain angry with myself that we were unable to achieve this, even if Darren Moore restored some pride towards the end of that season from where we had been mid-February.

"There was no doubt that the single-set requirement was to gain promotion as quickly as possible while at the same time attending to the back-office work to bring back a level financial control that had been lost."

Jenkins' association with Albion goes back almost two decades, from when he was first recruited by Peace as finance director in 2002, before being promoted to chief executive in 2010, at the start of an eight-year spell in the top flight.

He announced in April that he would not receive any pay while the UK was in lockdown because of the coronavirus pandemic, but Slaven Bilic's side finally earned automatic promotion last month despite failing to win any of their last four games.

Challenges facing Championship clubs 'frightening'

"After the longest and hardest season in history, promotion was deservedly secured. It was an exhausting and emotional night at The Hawthorns that I shall always treasure. But it also provided confirmation that we were back in the Premier League and that my job was done," said Jenkins.

"I had informed the owners before lockdown that I would be leaving at the end of the season as if we were unsuccessful then I felt it was appropriate that somebody else take the reins. Equally, if we did achieve the target then my role would come to a natural and positive conclusion.

"It was obvious that given the Covid pandemic it was essential that the club be promoted this season as the financial challenges facing the remaining Championship clubs is, quite frankly, frightening.

He added: "It has become increasingly clear to me that football is entering a new post-pandemic age which will demand fresh ideas, fresh initiatives and fresh outlooks. I believe the challenges ahead will be best tackled by someone with renewed energy and different ideas.

"Promotion eases some of the pressures but our club needs to explore revenue opportunities across a range of new areas."

Top Stories

Explore the BBC