Chinese takeover at West Bromwich
Published 06/08/2016 | 02:30
West Bromwich Albion have become the fourth English Midlands club to be taken over by Chinese investors after chairman Jeremy Peace announced he had sold the Baggies to an investment group led by entrepreneur Guochuan Lai, who is thought to have paid around £150m to buy the club.
Albion joined Aston Villa, Birmingham City and Wolverhampton Wanderers in selling to Chinese business interests, with three of those takeover deals coming this summer.
The new owner at the Hawthorns has moved swiftly to assure manager Tony Pulis that he will not be replaced and have set the relatively modest target of a mid-table finish in his first season in charge. Pulis has also been told he will have money to spend on new players.
Another Chinese consortium is set to take over AC Milan after former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi's Fininvest family holding signed a preliminary agreement valuing the club at €740m, including €220m of debt.
The new owners will have a lot of catching up to do to restore the seven-times European champions as a major force in Italian, let alone European, football.
Although much of Berlusconi's reign was hugely successful, his last few years were a tale of mid-table mediocrity, unsuccessful transfers and musical chairs in the coach's hot seat.
Milan won Serie A eight times and the Champions League on five occasions under Berlusconi but the titles dried up after their last success in 2011 and the last three seasons have seen them stagger home in disappointing fashion in eighth, tenth and seventh place.