Shropshire Star

Action for Albion determined to 'win the war' against West Brom owner Guochuan Lai

Pressure group Action for Albion reaffirmed their determination to ‘win the war’ against absent owner Guochuan Lai’s stewardship.

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AFA were this week “extremely disappointed” but “not surprised” as WBA Group’s sole director Xe Ke (Ken) refused to hold a meeting with select members of the group’s committee.

It came in the wake of the Hawthorns-based Ken’s decision to not answer key accounts and governance questions from minority shareholders, delivered by Shareholders 4 Albion.

“This is just the start, we’re in this for the long haul,” Action for Albion founder Alistair Jones told the Express & Star’s Baggies Broadcast.

“The refusal from Ken, we use analogies quite a lot, but in every war there’s lots of battles on lots of fronts – and just because you have to retreat from one battle doesn’t mean you’re going to lose the war, it just means you have to find a different route and path to be successful, and we will.

“These guys will not win. The institution of West Bromwich Albion will continue long after these custodians have gone, believe me.

“Custodians and owners of any club are here for a short space of time, the institutions of West Bromwich Albion is here for life.”

Jones added: “The meeting dates for Ron Gourlay and Ian Skidmore will hopefully be released in the next few days, everybody deserves a holiday, we understand that, we’ll wait and there’s time now.”

The group were given fresh hope this week when it was revealed a new government-led independent regulator, expected to be pushed through as legislation, will include an option for retrospective action against any club ownership if mismanagement is detected.

AFA, who are working closely with West Bromwich East MP Nicola Richards and her office, say they “fully endorse” that approach. They hope a precedent set – albeit in different circumstances – by the forced-through sale of Chelsea from Roman Abramovich may help bring change at The Hawthorns.

Fellow committee member Paul Faulkner vowed: “It’s not the off-season for us, we’re continuing with things like this interview.

“We had a committee meeting last night, a Zoom meeting wit another organisation the day before, the work continues behind the scenes, obviously Ali was on TV on Sunday, there’s almost something every day.

“There is no ‘we’ll see you in August guys’ for us, we’re continuing to do what we can and build that pressure on an almost-daily basis.”