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Chinese firm unveiled as new West Brom sponsor

By Matt Maher | West Bromwich Albion | Published:

Albion have today announced a new sponsorship deal which will see owner Guochuan Lai strengthen his business links with the club.

Guochuan Lai

Chinese landscaping company Palm, with whom Lai has a long-standing association, will be the Baggies principal sponsor from next season with their logo featuring on the front of the club's shirt.

Formed in 1984, the company operates in more than 20 cities in China, Hong Kong and Europe.

Lai, who completed a £175million takeover of Albion last August, was responsible for co-founding its eco-town development arm and Palm, which is valued at £1.8billion on the Chinese stock exchange, contributed to his buy-out of Jeremy Peace.

Lai said: “Palm and Albion are naturally aligned and I am thrilled to see this partnership become even stronger.

“I believe we have an exciting future and we can tackle it knowing we are stronger together.”

The Palm logo

Palm replaces K8-UK.com as Albion’s principal sponsor, with the Chinese betting company having agreed to end a two-year contract 12 months early.

Club bosses hope the new deal will enable the Baggies build stronger links in the Chinese market, while both developing their brand and driving commercial growth in Asia.

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The club have meanwhile confirmed next season’s kit will be unveiled on Thursday.

Baggies chief executive Martin Goodman said: “We are delighted to have Palm as our principal sponsors for the upcoming season and look forward to a successful relationship together.

“We are pleased to be associated with a company that is leading the way in their industry and we look forward to working with them.”

Albion are meanwhile thought to be among a number of clubs keeping tabs on Chris Smalling amid speculation the defender could depart Manchester United this summer.

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Reports yesterday claimed United boss Jose Mourinho is ready to offload Smalling after becoming frustrated with the fitness issues which have dogged the England international this season.

Smalling has seen his stock slide at Old Trafford and is of interest to Albion, who are in the market for a defensive reinforcements this summer.

Boss Tony Pulis is keen to sign John Terry following his departure from Chelsea but Smalling, nine years younger than the former England skipper, also appeals.

Pulis has enjoyed considerable success in bringing players from United to The Hawthorns, with Darren Fletcher and Jonny Evans both starring for the Baggies during his two-and-a-half year tenure to date.

Matt Maher

By Matt Maher
Football MMPJ - @mjmarr_star

Sports journalist for the Express & Star

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