English Premier League Club Acquired by Chinese Investor

Guochuan Lai, new West Brom owner

Guochuan Lai, new West Brom owner

West Bromwich Albion has joined fellow English Midlands clubs Aston Villa and Wolves and has been taken over by a prominent Chinese investor.

The English Premier League club West Bromwich Albion has announced that Chairman Jeremy Peace has agreed to sell West Bromwich Albion Holdings, (WBA) the Club’s parent company, to a Chinese investment group headed by Guochuan Lai.

Lai a 42-year-old entrepreneur is the controlling shareholder in Yunyi Guokai (Shanghai) Sports Development which will he claims will acquire WBA and usher in an exciting new phase of the Club’s development. 

The sale was agreed on 24 June since which time both parties have waited for regulatory and approval processes in China to be completed before making the agreement public. Completion is expected on approval of the FCA and Premier League, whose reviews are currently underway.

Chinese Influence Growing

«I am excited and privileged to have the chance to become the new owner of this great club. My immediate priorities will be to maintain the club’s stable structure, respecting its well-run nature and its heritage. I have no intention of changing the club’s ethos,» said Lai.

Chinese investors have been active in both their own domestic soccer leagues and internationally and have increasingly been pushing into European clubs. Wang Jianlin, China's richest man owns a large share of Atletico de Madrid and Italian giant AC Milan is said to have recently been sold to Chinese investors by owner Silvio Berlusconi.

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