Shropshire Star

Mark Miles: West Brom in talks for potential takeover

Albion managing director Mark Miles has confirmed to supporters the club are in talks over a potential takeover.

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Miles told fans at a meeting earlier this week “encouraging” discussions were ongoing with several interested parties, amid hope a deal can be completed before the end of the year.

Controlling shareholder Guochuan Lai is under increasing pressure to find new investment to help with the cost of running the Baggies.

At a meeting with campaign group Action For Albion, Miles revealed he was now personally working alongside WBA Group director Xu Ke on the sale of the club, a positive development for supporters who feared takeover talks were being conducted without oversight from those involved on a day-to-day basis at The Hawthorns.

The Express & Star reported in June that China-based Lai, whose company paid more than £200million to buy an 88 per cent shareholding from Jeremy Peace in 2016, was prepared to cut his losses and was actively seeking either a partial or full sale.

Albion are believed to be on the market for around £35m, though any prospective owner would be required to deal with the club’s existing debt, in addition to possessing the resources to fund the running of a Championship club.

The Baggies no longer receive parachute payments from the Premier League and took out a £20m loan from MSD Holdings earlier this year to help with their overheads.

Though the sale of Dara O’Shea to Burnley for £7m and a reduction in the wage bill of around 16 per cent has eased the immediate burden, it is believed the club will be under more serious pressure to sell players should no investment be forthcoming prior to the January transfer window.