Paul Barber believes Richard Scudamore will be a big loss to football.

Albion’s chief executive has told of his respect for the man who is stepping down from the top job at the Premier League.

Barber believes Scudamore’s involvement in all areas of football is not fully appreciated.

And he has told of his surprise when the decision to resign was announced at the Premier League annual meeting.

Barber told The Argus: “It wasn’t something we expected. It was a very emotional few hours because, certainly in my 20 years in professional football, Richard has always been a constant.

“For me personally, when I first started working in professional football, Richard was chief executive of the Football League as it was then.

“Then, when I moved to the FA, he moved to the Premier League and he has been there ever since.

“He is someone I have a huge amount of time and respect and admiration for, for what he has done.

“It not just for the Premier League but prior to that the Football League and football generally.

“People forget Richard was one of the architects of the Football Foundation, which has distributed huge sums of money to grass roots football.

“He often gets characterised as being the guy at the very top of the game.

“Actually, he does a huge amount for grass roots football as well.

“He is a very passionate football man and a qualified referee.

“His kids are going through the football system.

“I think he is going to be a huge and sad loss to the game although obviously we wish him well in what he is going to do next.

“He will be very much welcome to the Amex any time."