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 has urged Guochuan Lai to cut his losses on West Brom and sell the club as soon as possible amid reports that bids have been made for the Black Country club.
The Daily Mail reported earlier this week that Chinese businessman Lai wants to sell the Albion before the end of the season amid worries the club could be relegated from the Premier League.
It is understood that three interested parties have all submitted bids for West Bromwich Albion and they all include penalty clauses which give “the buyers discounts in the event of relegation”.
Lai paid £200million to buy Jeremy Peace’s majority 88 per cent stake in West Brom in 2016 but one of the offers made to Lai is £130million and would drop to £105million if Albion are relegated.
Phillips claims that the fans and manager Sam Allardyce need Lai to get a deal done as soon as possible so that the club can progress.
“For everyone who’s concerned, the guy’s made it clear he wants to sell the football club. You’ve got the same scenario up at Sunderland and you’ve got the same scenario at Newcastle. These people want to sell up,” Phillips told West Brom News.
“But it takes time and I suppose, as a supporter, it’s frustrating and I’m sure it’s the same for Sam Allardyce as well. You want an owner that’s fully supportive, that’s going to back you and give you money to spend.
“We had the issue in the summer with Slaven with players being sold behind his back and he didn’t get the money he felt he deserved.
“The quicker it gets done, the better. Hopefully, in the next three weeks with those three bidders at the table, Lai’s going to have to cut his losses – especially with the situation we’re in these days. He’s never going to get the money back that he paid so he might have to cut his losses if he wants out and pass the buck onto someone else to get the job done.”
We wish it was that simple.
Lai spent £200million on buying the Baggies almost five years ago so he’s going to want as much of that money back as possible.
His lack of investment and instalment of his own Chinese peers at The Hawthorns has led to the club’s demise and drop in value since 2016. Yes, the COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t helped but a lot of this is Lai’s own making.
If he wants to make back his money then he needs to invest. He bought an established Premier League club with established Premier League players from Peace when the economy was in a far better shape both in and outside of football.
Lai will be very, very lucky to get his money back and we would question any business who would want to pay £200million for the Albion.
Let’s hope someone does offer something more appealing soon though.
We’re glad that Lai has the decency to want to sell up but he cannot just sell such a historic English team to anyone.
In other West Brom news, the Albion are in talks to sign an in-form striker.