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Football: Albion job for Smith.

Oxford's Denis Smith will be named as the new manager of West Bromwich today.

Albion's board decided yesterday that 50-year-old Smith will get the job, vacated by Ray Harford's walk-out to join QPR three weeks ago.

Chief executive John Wile said: "We have picked the person we want and shaken hands on it. An official announce-ment will follow within 24 hours."

Hard-up Oxford will get an estimated pounds 100,000 compensation for Smith's services, and he may be followed to the Hawthorns by assistant Malcolm Crosby.

On pounds 135,000 a year, Smith becomes Albion's seventh boss in as many years - with instructions to take the Midland outfit into the Premiership.

It's a stark contrast with the scene at Oxford, where Smith - also a director - was fighting debts of pounds 3million and rising.

While the former Stoke centre-half was in charge at Bristol City, he bought Andy Cole from Arsenal for a bargain pounds 250,000 and then sold the young goal-machine to Newcastle for pounds 1.7m to make a massive profit.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Author:Moore, David
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Dec 24, 1997
Words:173
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