Albion will look to “cut fat from the bone” as they tackle life after the Premier League shutdown.

But Tony Bloom’s “incredible” support could give them the edge over their peers as belts are tightened.

That is the verdict of football finance lecturer Kieran Maguire as the full picture of the economic challenges facing the game become clearer.

Maguire believes clubs with several players out of contract could find themselves better placed to cut costs.

That does not include Albion, where Ezequiel Schelotto is the only player who has featured in the league this season to now be heading towards free agency.

Maguire has collated information which shows Premier League income rose 7% year on year last season but wages and transfer payments went up 10% and 18% respectively.

He told The Argus: “The numbers suggest that the commonly held belief that the Premier League is a licence to print money is a fallacy and the majority of clubs have lost money over the last decade.

“The Albion are locked into a high cost base due to having few out of contract for another season with relatively little wiggle room. The club hierarchy will be looking to cut fat from the bone in terms of anything which is deemed frivolous.

“It could be a great opportunity for the investment in the academy over the past few years to start to deliver, as the transfer market will be subdued.

“Tony Bloom’s incredible benevolence could also be useful regardless of whether the club stays up or is relegated.

“If he does continue to support the club financially to the historic levels or more the Albion might have an advantage over their peer group.”