We’re delighted to welcome former West Brom striker Kevin Phillips as our exclusive columnist. Each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at The Hawthorns…
Kevin Phillips believes Sam Allardyce will be happy with the Robert Snodgrass deal even though West Brom and West Ham are now the subjects of a Premier League investigation.
Ahead of Albion’s 2-1 defeat at West Ham on Tuesday night, it was confirmed by the club and by Allardyce that Snodgrass, 33, has been left out due to an agreement between the two Premier League sides when the winger headed to The Hawthorns earlier this month.
Snodgrass was available to play at Wolves on Saturday and was instrumental in a 3-2 Black Country derby victory.
However, he wasn’t included on Tuesday at West Ham and the Premier League are now looking into whether rules were broken by the Baggies and the Hammers [Sky Sports].
Phillips claims the two clubs are likely to get off lightly in terms of punishment and suggests that Allardyce has come out on top overall due to Snodgrass’ role at Wolves.
“I couldn’t believe it because I missed the first five minutes of the game and when I looked at the team, I thought he might have been injured. But I kind of put two and two together that maybe there was an agreement,” Phillips told West Brom News.
“I saw it trending on Sky that the Premier League are investigating the deal and the statement that there was an agreement between the two clubs – so I don’t know what can happen there.
“I don’t know what the laws are or whether you can put an agreement in place but it looks unlikely they’ll be punished.
“It was obviously an agreement between the two clubs and Allardyce said ‘unless it was agreed, the deal wasn’t going to get done’. For the sake of one game, I think Sam was happy to do that.
“He would have liked him to play at West Ham because he wouldn’t have wanted to change a winning side but it is what it is and we’ll have to see what comes of it.”
It remains to be seen what the Premier League will do but Sky Sports News journalist Rob Dorsett has reported that West Brom and West Ham “won’t face serious” sanctions for the private agreement for Snodgrass to be left out at the London Stadium on Tuesday.
A warning or a small fine is understood to be the likely punishment.
We’ll take that because Snodgrass was superb against Wolves and winning the Black Country derby at Molineux means more than winning away at West Ham.
Of course, we would have liked Snodgrass to have been available on Tuesday and yes, the scoreline might have been a different one had he started.
But Albion would probably not have been able to sign Snodgrass until after that game had they not agreed to this private agreement so whatever punishment is dished out, it’s probably worth it in the long-run.