West Bromwich Albion will be aiming to be a play-off side in the 2023/24 season after falling just short last time out.
However, West Brom’s preparations for the Championship campaign have been hamstrung by ongoing issues with owner Guochuan Lai.
Albion chief Mark Miles and manager Carlos Corberan have made it no secret that they had been operating on a tighter budget this summer than the West Midlands club have been used to in the past despite having already sold Dara O’Shea to Burnley for a fee of around £7 million.

Lai bought the club for £200 million in 2016, but he will be forced to sell for significantly less than that. When in June, reports revealed that Lai was ready to cut his losses and is actively looking to sell the Championship club after seven years in charge. A fee of £60 million has been touted.



According to the Daily Mail, Fred Chesnais has been in talks over a takeover. The Frenchman is a cryptocurrency investor and the founder of Crypto Blockchain Industries. He is said to be ready to make a cash offer for the Championship club. It is thought that fee would cover the sale of Albion and all their assets, including The Hawthorns and the training ground.

West Brom making provisions to ensure they can complete season behind  closed doors | Express & Star

The club’s business in the market has evidently been impacted when one of their only incomings has been the signing of Jeremy Sarmiento on a loan deal from Brighton and Hove Albion. The Ecuadorian international winger will be looking for more senior game time in the West Midlands.
On top of that, the Baggies have signed Josh Maja on a free transfer, with the former Sunderland striker arriving from French side Bordeaux on a three-year deal. Whilst Pipa has reunited with Corberan, having been together at Huddersfield Town and Olympiacos previously.

That’s highlighted just how much spending has been cut back under the ownership of the 49-year-old.

How did West Bromwich Albion owner Guochuan Lai make his money?
Lai built up his fortune through his role as general manager and shareholder of Palm Eco-Town Development Company, which developed from a small plant nursery business into China’s largest landscape development and construction firm.

He was general manager of the company for over 20 years and despite stepping down in 2014 to focus on private investment projects, he remains involved with Palm and is a director of a number of subsidiaries, including Belt Collins International (HK) Limited, Palm Landscape (Hong Kong) Limited, Hangzhou Nanyue Palm Landscape Construction Limited and PALM Design Holding.


How wealthy is Guochuan Lai?

The West Brom takeover – the first year of Guochuan Lai | Express & Star
Lai was estimated to be worth £2.8 billion by the Birmingham Post Rich List in 2017.

That puts Lai among the richest owners in the Championship and no doubt makes his reluctance to invest all the more frustrating for West Brom’s fanbase.


It appears West Brom fans could soon have their wish, with the latest update from The Telegraph revealing that there is plenty of interest in the club, who could be sold for around £50m.


“West Brom are under increasing pressure to raise funds and the Championship club is in talks with a number of potential buyers to conclude a £50 million takeover before the end of the year. Parties from America and the Middle East have held initial discussions with the club over a deal, with conversations said to be ongoing.”

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