West Brom sold to Chi­nese group

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport Starts Here -

Former Black­burn Rovers Chief Ex­ec­u­tive John Wil­liams will re­place Jeremy Peace, who has been chair­man of West Brom for 14 years, with im­me­di­ate ef­fect, the Pre­mier League club said in a state­ment on its web­site. (www.wba.co.uk)

Peace will stay on at West Brom in an ad­vi­sory role to help with the tran­si­tion, but has re­lin­quished his po­si­tion on the club’s board.

Lai, who de­scribes him­self as a life­long foot­ball fan, said the takeover was “a great in­vest­ment”.

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

“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.”

China has been pour­ing money into foot­ball across the world, as the coun­try’s Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping looks to make them a global pow­er­house in the sport.

The deal is the lat­est move by Chi­nese in­vestors to make in­roads into the lu­cra­tive Pre­mier League, which is flush with the money from a bumper TV rights deal that kicks off from the 2016-17 sea­son.

In May, English foot­ball club As­ton Villa, who were rel­e­gated from the Pre­mier League at the end of last sea­son, an­nounced that they had agreed to a takeover by Chi­nese mag­nate Xia Jiantong. — Reuters.

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