We’re delighted to welcome former West Brom striker Kevin Phillips as our exclusive columnist. Each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at The Hawthorns…
Kevin Phillips cannot see Guochuan Lai selling West Brom any time soon despite rising political tensions between the UK and China.
Last week, it was reported that Chinese TV station CCTV ceased the broadcast of live Premier League matches due to the strained relationship between London and Beijing.
Ex-Premier League forward Stan Collymore saw the news and suggested that Premier League clubs have Chinese owners – like West Brom – might be up for sale amid the recent developments in the Far East.
However, Phillips cannot see Lai wanted to give up the Baggies after taking them back to the Premier League this season.
When asked if he agrees with Collymore, Phillips told West Brom News: “In my opinion, no chance.
“They’ve been at the club, they’ve invested, they managed to lure a quality manager there, they’ve given them funds to get in players.
“I can see the prospect of selling the club for a profit on what they bought it for but why would you? The whole purpose of coming into clubs is to take them to the Premier League and the next goal is to keep them there for years to come.
“I’d be very, very surprised if the owners look to sell the club.”
Lai has been a quiet owner since taking over at The Hawthorns in 2016.
It is partly down to him being based in China but fans have had their suspicions that he does not really have much love for the football club, with him not appearing once at The Hawthorns this season.
As it stands, Phillips is probably right about Lai. He’s just taken the club back to the Premier League and now is probably not the time to be selling up with all that’s going on in the world.
But if tensions escalate between China and the UK, that stance could change.
In other West Brom news, Albion want to sign this £18million-rated English striker.