Premier League: Chinese group to take over West Bromwich Albion

West Bromwich Albion chairman Jeremy Peace has announced that he has reached an agreement with a Chinese investment group represented by Guochuan Lai, a successful entrepreneur. John Williams, former chief executive at Blackburn Rovers, will replace Jeremy Peace as chairman. Peace has been in charge for 14 years. Aston Villa and Wolverhampton Wanderers have also been taken over by Chinese businessmen this summer.

"My immediate priorities will be to maintain the club's stable structure, respecting its well-run nature and its heritage," said Guochuan Lai. "I have no intention of changing the club's ethos. I believe that we have a competitive team, with the right management and coaching staff in place." Lai, aged 42, reached success in China with a landscaping company named Palm before retiring in private investment in 2014.

The deal was agreed in June but will only go through if the Financial Conduct Authority and the Premier League will approve it. Jeremy Peace tried to sell the club to a Chinese consortium last year but the negotiations were not successful. Peace owned 88% of the club and has been looking for around 150 million pounds for his stake in the club. "I believe this deal will enable Albion to build on the strong, sustainable foundations that have been the cornerstone of the club's progress," said Peace. "The club can look to the future with excitement about the opportunities ahead."

West Brom are 8/1 at Bet365 to finish inside the Premier League top ten next season.

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