c/o 1st Floor
26 May 1999
West Bromwich Albion plc
The 1998/9 League season has now ended with the team a disappointing 12th in the League. This is the fifth consecutive disappointing season while Mr Hale has been Chairman.
The Club's finishing positions in the 1st Division over the past five seasons have been:
The Supporters of the Club deserve better and as the major shareholder with 25% of the shares and as a keen supporter of West Bromwich Albion, I have a responsibility to now push for positive change.
Mr Hale has undoubtedly done his best for the Club over the past five years, but the Club's results during that period speak for themselves. I therefore believe that it is now time for a change of leadership, but I have been unable to convince Mr Hale to consider a change.
The Chairman of a football club is involved in and influences all major decisions at the Club. During the five years that Mr Hale has been Chairman, not enough quality decisions have been made. A prime example of a poor decision was the failure to sign any new players prior to the transfer deadline date this year.
When a Chairman finds that a clear majority of other Directors repeatedly disagree with his decisions, he should consider whether those decisions are good enough, rather than claiming that those who disagree are being disloyal. A Director's first loyalty is to the Club, the Supporters and the Shareholders, not the Chairman.
The Club now needs the leadership of a Chairman who will assist everyone connected with the Club to contribute to quality decisions. Quality decisions will continually make the Club better and will enable the Club to move up the league and challenge for the Premiership.
I have therefore requested that the Club call an extraordinary general meeting of shareholders so that the West Bromwich Albion shareholders have the opportunity to decide whether they wish Mr Hale to continue as Chairman or not.
The Club will be writing to you shortly to convene the extraordinary general meeting. In the meantime, to give shareholders an opportunity to express their views and to exchange views with other shareholders, I will be available at the West Bromwich Moat House, Birmingham Road, West Bromwich from 7.30 pm on Monday, 7 June and from 7.30 pm on Tuesday, 8 June and invite you to come along on either day for an informal discussion.
Clive Stapleton and Barry Hurst will also be at the Moat House on these occasions to explain why they have resigned from the board of West Bromwich Albion and to contribute to the discussion about what is best for the Club's future. Please bring this letter with you for identification purposes and to gain access to the meeting.