West Bromwich Albion now have a new owner, 42-year-old Chinese business magnate Guochuan Lai after the Premier League club announced its sale on Friday.

West Brom have announced the sale of the club to a Chinese investment company Shanghai Sports Development Limited owned by Yunyi Guokai for a fee believed to be in excess of £150m.

The Baggies are now the third  Midlands club owned by Chinese owners after Aston Villa and Wolverhampton Wanderers. The deal is now subject to approval by the Financial Conduct Authority.

“I am excited and privileged to have the chance to become the new owner of this great club. We have a strong squad, loyal fans and a unique culture,” Lai said.

“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.

“I am proud that I will be the first mainland-Chinese owner of a Premier League club. 

“This historic deal will result in a rapid and significant increase in interest in the club in China, which should lead to attractive commercial opportunities.”

Meanwhile, Baggies chairman Jeremy Peace who has been at the helm for 14 years has announced his resignation from his role with former Blackburn chief executive John Williams set to succeed him.

West Brom finished 14th in the Barclays Premier League last season.

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