Former West Brom chairman John Williams admits he was surprised when Chinese owner Guochuan Lai sacked him.

Williams and chief executive Martin Goodman were dismissed on Tuesday in a phone call from Mark Jenkins, who helped oversee Lai’s takeover in 2016 and has returned as the new chief executive.

Williams was appointed as Albion chairman after the takeover, while Goodman was made CEO in January 2017 when he replaced Jenkins at The Hawthorns in his former role.

The Premier League club are bottom of the table and suffered a 3-0 defeat to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Monday, which leaves them seven points adrift of 17th-placed Huddersfield.

“It is an odd feeling, it’s certainly unusual,” Williams told The Times.

“We had gone through a managerial change but it’s a results-based game and I accept my part in that.

“As top of the managerial tree, you have to take responsibility. It has been a challenging job but I felt we had done well in the time I was here until this season, and I have enjoyed it.

“We didn’t get the bounce we hoped for when Alan (Pardew) came in and are well short of his usual average points per game, but I think we are now heading on a really favourable run of games.

“I believe in Alan and the squad and I wish them well and really hope they stay up. I believe it will be a fight until the end.”

The Baggies, under Alan Pardew, are without a win from their last four league matches and a club statement said the changes in the club hierarchy “follow Albion’s poor results this season”.

A club spokesman said: “We would like to thank John and Martin for all their efforts since their appointments and wish them well for the future.”

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