West Brom have confirmed chairman Jeremy Peace has agreed to sell the club to a Chinese investment group headed by billionaire Guochuan Lai.
Peace has served as West Brom chairman for 14 years, overseeing three promotions to the Premier League.
The Baggies have broken their record transfer fee nine times with Peace at the helm, most recently to sign Salomon Rondon from Zenit last season, but fresh investment and the Premier League’s eye-watering new television deal could bring further spending power to Tony Pulis.
Lai’s Chinese construction company is worth £1.8billion according to a West Brom statement, which confirmed that the 42-year-old will take charge, pending approval from the Financial Conduct Authority and Premier League.
“I am excited and privileged to have the chance to become the new owner of this great club,” Lai commented on the takeover.
“We have a strong squad, loyal fans and a unique culture.
“My immediate priorities will be to maintain the club’s stable structure, respecting its well-run nature and its heritage. I have no intention of changing the club’s ethos.”
Former Blackburn Rovers chief John Williams will replace Peace, after being recommended by the outgoing chairman to steer Lai through the “minefield” of Premier League ownership.