Slaven Bilic talks for first time since West Brom sacking and reveals 'huge disappointment' as Allardyce takes charge

SLAVEN BILIC has revealed his ‘huge disappointment’ at West Brom axing him and appointing Sam Allardyce as replacement.

Despite guiding them to promotion and to a 1-1 draw at Manchester City on Tuesday, the Baggies fired the Croatian yesterday morning.

Just hours later they named Big Sam as their new boss – offering him a £1.5million bonus to keep them in the Premier League.

Now Bilic, 52, has spoken for the first time since his tenure at The Hawthorns was ended.

In a statement released today, he said: “I am hugely disappointed to have left West Bromwich Albion.

“I am honoured to have managed this unique football club with full commitment and integrity.

“I would like to place on record my sincere thanks to all the players, my hard-working coaching team and our dedicated staff.

“I am incredibly proud that we secured automatic promotion from the Championship in our first season.

“It was a real shame to not have our loyal supporters there with us during that moment and upon our return to the Premier League. 

“In what has been a really difficult year for so many, those special fans have stood alongside us throughout it all.

“My staff and I are grateful for having had the privilege to serve them.

“They would have enjoyed some of our excellent performances where the team showed how much they wanted us to succeed.”

Bilic added: “Ultimately, I am sad that it hasn’t worked out in the way we wanted.

“But I leave with my head held high, along with some wonderful memories that I will always cherish.

“I’m sorry that I cannot say goodbye to you all properly at The Hawthorns. I genuinely wish the club well for the future.”

Allardyce, 66, returns to the game over 2½ years after leaving his last job at Everton.

He has been handed an 18-month deal — with a break clause should the Baggies go down.

Allardyce will take training ahead of Sunday’s West Midlands derby with Aston Villa.

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