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Brighton defend Bong following Rodriguez incident

Brighton have defended Gaetan Bong after a charge he was racially abused by West Brom forward Jay Rodriguez was found to be not proven. Credit: PA

Brighton have defended Gaetan Bong after a charge he was racially abused by West Brom forward Jay Rodriguez was found to be not proven by the Football Association.

Rodriguez was accused of making an alleged remark to Cameroon international Bong during the Baggies' 2-0 Premier League victory over the Seagulls on January 13.

The FA announced last Friday that an Independent Regulatory Commission "determined that on the balance of probabilities the allegation was not proven" against Rodriguez, who criticised Bong for choosing "to publicly condemn" him.

On Wednesday evening Brighton issued a statement on behalf of Bong that supported their player's version of events.

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Terraneo joins West Brom as technical consultant

Credit: AP

West Brom have appointed Italian Giuliano Terraneo as a technical consultant as they prepare for the impact of probable relegation from the Premier League.

Terraneo has joined on a six-month deal, the club said, and will play a role in the hiring of the next Baggies head coach after Alan Pardew's recent exit.

West Brom chief executive Mark Jenkins said on the club's website: "Giuliano joins us in what we all acknowledge will be a very important close season.

"He will assist in the recruitment of a new head coach and the re-structure of the squad. In the event of our losing Premier League status, it will be a squad we will want to compete strongly for promotion back to the top tier.

"Giuliano will assist in the recruitment long-term of a new sporting and technical director and he will also be involved in the complete review of the recruitment department."

Terraneo's arrival follows the exit of Nick Hammond which was announced on Thursday morning. West Brom's relegation from the top-flight could be confirmed this weekend. They currently sit at the foot of the Premier League.

The 64-year-old Terraneo has worked in similar roles in Italy at Monza, Lazio and Inter Milan, and has also been sporting director at Turkish club Fenerbahce.

The former goalkeeper said: "I am pleased to be able to accept the opportunity to help the club and its owners in the work ahead.

"West Bromwich Albion is a club with its own personality and it is important that everyone we recruit wants to work to that."

Technical director Hammond leaves West Brom

Credit: PA

Technical director Nick Hammond is to leave West Brom, the club have announced.

Hammond has become the latest casualty of Albion's calamitous campaign as they lurch towards relegation from the Premier League, which could be confirmed on Saturday, and prepare for life back in the Championship.

The 50-year-old's position had come under pressure following the role he played in Alan Pardew's appointment as head coach in November.

Pardew, who worked under Hammond at Reading earlier in his managerial career, won only one top flight match and was sacked last week following a club record run of eight Premier League defeats.

Hammond's departure follows the sackings in February of chief executive Martin Goodman and chairman John Williams by the club's owner Guochuan Lai.

"West Bromwich Albion are a great football club which I was honoured to be a part of, great people, great supporters. I wish them every success going forward as I move on to future projects," said Hammond in a statement on the club's official website.

Chief executive officer Mark Jenkins said: "We would like to place on record our gratitude for Nick's efforts during his two years in the role and wish him every success for his future."

The statement went on to add that the club would be making an announcement about its restructure plans in due course.

West Brom will be relegated on Sunday if they lose to Manchester United at Old Trafford and results the previous day go against them.

West Brom see safe-standing section rejected

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The government has rejected a request from West Brom to introduce a safe-standing section at The Hawthorns next season.

West Brom, who are bottom of the Premier League and 10 points adrift of safety with five games to play, had hoped to install 3,600 rail seats in the ground's Smethwick End.

The application was made to the Sports Grounds Safety Authority (SGSA), the government agency set up to regulate sports stadia after the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, and it referred the proposal to the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

In a statement, the SGSA said the club's request was rejected by sports minister Tracey Crouch.

"West Brom is subject to the government's all-seater policy and DCMS have said that they have no current plans to change their position and introduce standing accommodation at grounds in the top two divisions covered by the all-seater policy," it added.

A DCMS spokesperson confirmed it had "no plans" to change its policy but said it "will continue to monitor the issue of spectator accommodation and the use of safe standing where it is permitted".

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