Tony Pulis job remains safe as West Brom are taken over by Chinese consortium



TONY PULIS has been told his job is safe after West Brom became the latest West Midlands club to be bought by Chinese owners.

Albion boss Jeremy Peace sold up to Guochuan Lai, a 42-year-old entrepreneur and controlling shareholder in Yunyi Guokai Sports Development Limited.

And new chairman John Wiliams says the priority is ‘making things happen’ in the transfer market.

But Pulis will not be one of the victims of the takeover.

While Lai does not have Manchester City style riches, he wants to bring success to The Hawthorns and will spend whatever it takes to avoid relegation.

He has already noted Pulis’ track record of never going down from the top flight and wants to keep him on board.

It is not clear how much Lai bought the club for – but Peace was looking for close to £200million when he put the club back on the market after failing to complete a sale 12 month ago.

Williams who spent 13 years as chief executive and chairman of Blackburn, said there are “funds available”.

And he says the immediate priority is the transfer market with Albion desperate for new faces after seeing a record £16million deal for West Ham’s Diafra Sakho collapse over fears surrounding the player’s fitness.

Williams said: “The immediate focus is on our activity in the transfer window; quite frankly, everything else is peripheral.

“Tony Pulis and Nick Hammond have told the board we are two or three player’s short, realistic targets have been identified and there are funds available. We need to get them over the line to ensure Tony has a competitive squad for what is going to be a challenging and demanding campaign.

“From the outside looking in, I have to say how impressive the diligence has been in planning for the new season shown by both sides.

“Now it is over to us: the staff, the players, the fans and all of our stakeholders to make things happen.”

Peace wanted to make sure that the transition was a smooth one with the new owners maintaining Albion’s reputation of being financially well run club.

Lai – who has made his money from building eco-towns in China and a virtual reality media business – has vowed not to change the club’s outlook.

Lai oversaw the growth of landscaping company Palm in his home country before retiring in May 2014 to focus on private investment.

Palm, which was valued at £1.8bn on the Chinese stock exchange, has contributed to the takeover.

He said: “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.”

It means Baggies now join Aston Villa and Wolves who have also been taken over by groups from China this summer.

Birmingham City have been under Hong Kong ownership since 2009 although their boss Carson Yeung was jailed for money laundering.

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