West Bromwich Albion’s £60m takeover saga drawing to a close with American businessman Shilen Patel favourite to end Guochuan Lai’s disastrous tenure

9 February 2024 0 By Total Football News
  • Baggies are cautiously hopeful the club will finally be sold within a month 
  • Chinese owner Lai bought the club for £175m in 2016 but didn't put money in 
  • CHRIS SUTTON on sledging, expletive stand-offs and on-field verbal jousting - It's All Kicking Off podcast 

West Bromwich Albion are cautiously hopeful the club will be sold within a month to end a protracted takeover saga at the Championship side.

The asking price for Albion is thought to be close to £60million – about £28m for the club itself with the remainder covering the debt. 

US businessman Shilen Patel is thought still to be the front-runner to take control and end the disastrous ownership of Guochuan Lai.

Despite suggestions in recent times that lawyer Chris Farnell was preparing a bid for the club in partnership with local businessman Alex Hearn, the pair are not at this stage believed to be strong contenders to succeed Lai outright.

Lai bought the club from Jeremy Peace for £175m in 2016 and from day one, the Chinese investor was clear he would not be putting in much of his own money.

West Brom are cautiously optimistic the club's protracted takeover saga could be concluded
US businessman Shilen Patel, pictured as CEO of HealthAxis, is frontrunner to take over at West Brom

West Brom are cautiously optimistic the club's protracted takeover saga could be concluded. US businessman Shilen Patel, pictured as CEO of HealthAxis, is frontrunner to take over at West Brom

In December 2022, Albion took out a £20m four-year loan with MSD Holdings to cover the decline in revenue caused by relegation. 

Lai has also taken £10m in loans from the club which he has not paid back. There was a further loan from MSD late last year, believed to be between £6-8m.

Top earner Kyle Bartley is thought to collect about £38,000 per week – a huge salary in the post-Covid Championship – and is one of several squad members earning more than £1m per year.

Guochuan Lai has faced heavy criticism since his £175million takeover of the club in 2016

Guochuan Lai has faced heavy criticism since his £175million takeover of the club in 2016

West Brom's wage ceiling for new players is now thought to be capped at about £10,000 per week and there has been limited scope for reinforcing Carlos Corberan's squad, though homegrown winger Tom Fellows signed a new three-and-a-half-year deal in January.

Albion are fifth in the Championship and take on Ipswich at Portman Road on Saturday.


This news item was provided by the EFL Championship News, Fixtures and Results | Mail Online website - the original link is: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-13066201/West-Brom-takeover-saga-American-Shilen-Patel-favourite-Guochuan-Lai.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ito=1490&ns_campaign=1490