'We have been left with no choice' - Another twist in West Brom ownership mystery
Shareholders 4 Albion have released a statement which confirms they have written to the Premier League for clarity on the West Brom ownership mystery.
Chris Lepkowski and Adrian Goldberg have done a lot of investigative work in recent weeks to find out that financial data gatherers Orbis report Guochuan Lai is no longer in control of the club and instead, the ownership lies in the hands of Ms Yasha Ge [The Liquidator podcast].
West Brom have been continuously approached to clear up the matter but the club’s replies have not done anywhere enough to quell the speculation.
S4A, who own around 12 per cent of the shares at West Brom, have been left in the dark on the matter and have not heard anything helpful from the club themselves when asking for a meeting with new chief executive Xu Ke, also known as Ken.
Now, S4A has released a statement via the Birmingham Mail which confirms they have approached the Premier League for clarity as the Baggies simply are not offering it.
“We have seen evidence which suggests that there may have been a change in the ultimate ownership and control of Holdings and, in turn, the majority shareholding in Group (and therefore the football club),” the statement says.
“Group maintain that there has been no change in ownership but have not provided any evidence to rebut the evidence we have seen, in spite of us providing Group with several opportunities to do so, over the last three weeks, via its solicitors.
“Consequently, we have been left with no choice. We have formally referred the matter to the Premier League to investigate (as regulator on this issue) in accordance with its rules relating to ownership and control of member clubs. We trust that this will provide clarity on the matter.”
S4A weren’t finished there with their statement, either.
The minority shareholders also hit out over Lai’s lack of financial support for manager Slaven Bilic.
S4A added: “The apparent lack of appetite to invest and compete to stay in the Premier League is perplexing, given that reports suggest that the majority shareholders are seeking to sell their interests or attract outside investment.
“With even moderate investment, there would be a good chance of survival in the Premier League of 2020-21. It is sadly clear and not a surprise that the squad is not fit for purpose for Premier League football, carrying clear deficiencies in several positions.
“We feel that our head coach, Slaven Bilic, has been undermined in his efforts to strengthen and develop the team. Slaven immediately galvanised the football team and club. He is the main reason we achieved promotion, in spite of a clear shortfall in the striker resource afforded to him.”
The Birmingham Mail add on their website that they have also approached West Brom for comment on the mystery but they declined to comment.
On Tuesday, the Express & Star reported that they have seen documents which show Lai is still the owner of West Bromwich Albion FC.
The E&S also added that Obris’ information on Ge taking charge was “incorrect” and that West Brom “have insisted Lai remained owner whenever asked the question by various media outlets”.
However, as shown on this website over the past week, West Brom are declining to comment on the matter or are offering replies that only deepen the mystery.
Former Birmingham Mail journalist Lepkowski, who did a lot of the initial research, responded to that Express & Star report by saying: “Doesn’t tell us anything we haven’t said on the pod’ already – club made that claim when first tackled. Nor does it explain the [weeks] of radio silence re [Yasha Ge] that has prompted shareholders to mobilise.”
Seen it Jase, ta. Doesn't tell us anything we haven't said on the pod' already – club made that claim when first tackled. Nor does it explain the wks of radio silence re YG that has prompted shareholders to mobilise.
— Chris Lepkowski (@chrislepkowski) November 10, 2020
Lepkowski sums up our concerns perfectly.
Why has the club been so awkward to deal with over this matter?
Why won’t Xu Ke hold a meeting with S4A?
And who on earth is Yasha Ge?
In other West Brom news, Carlton Palmer believes this Albion player could be worth over £40million.