Belfast Telegraph

West Brom baffled by Jewell exit

West Brom are to strongly defend any potential threat of legal action from Paul Jewell following his shock departure from the club.

Jewell surprisingly left the Baggies on Tuesday just a week following his appointment as joint-assistant head coach to Tony Pulis.

The former Bradford, Sheffield Wednesday, Wigan, Ipswich and Derby boss was lauded by Pulis upon his arrival, with the Welshman claiming Jewell's "massive experience" was ideal for his new role at Albion.

It is understood, though, that role resulted in a dilution of his pay packet as Pulis brought in a tried-and-trusted lieutanant from his past in Gerry Francis.

To accommodate former Spurs and QPR manager Francis, the belief is Jewell and fellow assistant Dave Kemp were asked to take pay cuts, much to the former's disgust.

It resulted in Jewell walking out on Tuesday, with the club stating he had decided "he will not be continuing his recent assistance on a more formal basis".

Jewell, though, is looking at his legal options as he said:"(My exit) was not by mutual consent. It is in the hands of my lawyer. I will not be making any further comment at this stage."

Albion are baffled by Jewell's stance as it is understood whilst terms were agreed, no contract was ever signed, disputing strongly they reneged on any deal.

Glenn Hayes, an employment partner at Manchester-based law firm Irwin Mitchell, has suggested there may be a case to answer depending on the circumstances.

Hayes said: "Although the full details are yet to emerge about why Paul Jewell has left West Brom just a week after joining the club, it is possible to speculate Paul is disputing something he thinks he was offered, but is no longer available.

"If this was the case, this could allow him to terminate the contract with immediate effect, arguing the club have fundamentally breached his contract, and launch legal proceedings to claim back what he thinks he is owed."

Pulis has, however, turned again to Francis for assistance after they previously worked together at Stoke and Crystal Palace when the Welshman was in charge.

Francis has now signed a contract with the club after working informally this past month since the 7-0 FA Cup romp over Gateshead.

Francis insisted on Sky Sports he was unaware of the reasons behind Jewell's departure as when asked he replied: "I've no idea.

"He was there Saturday, I was there Saturday at the game... I don't really know what the situation is from that point of view. I only found out myself last night (Tuesday)."

Pulis claims Francis' "insight and experience of the very highest levels of our game" were reasons behind his appointment.

Francis added: "I've been there since the Gateshead game, been there for some time now.

"It was just really deciding whether I was going to do what I did at Crystal Palace and at Stoke for Tony,the same sort of part-time deal, and get back to the travelling again. Obviously I've agreed to do that now."

As to his duties, Francis said: "Everything really - coaching two days a week and obviously all the games - doing very similar to what I did at Crystal Palace and Stoke."

Pulis, meanwhile, is rumoured to be chasing Manchester United and Scotland midfielder Darren Fletcher, who is out of contract at the end of the season.

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