West Brom still owned by Guochuan Lai

Guochuan Lai remains the owner of West Bromwich Albion despite speculation to the contrary, the Express & Star can confirm.

Guochuan Lai, the owner of West Bromwich Albion .
Guochuan Lai, the owner of West Bromwich Albion .

Back in October, Orbis – a publisher of business information similar to Companies House – released documents suggesting Ms Yasha Ge is now the Baggies' largest shareholder instead of Lai.

That information, however, is incorrect with the Express & Star having seen documents dated October 29 that confirm there has been no change in ownership at the club.

Ms Ge recently became a director at Shanghai Yunyi Investment which is a partner of Yunyiye Investment Company and Yunjin Investment Company – two bodies entirely owned by Lai.

But she has no say in the day-to-day running of Albion.

Any change of ownership at a top-flight football club has to be ratified by the Premier League.

It also has to be approved by independent auditors and announced on the club's website – meaning any suggestion Albion had changed hands was unsubstantiated speculation.

The Express & Star understands, like all 20 clubs do each year, Albion have submitted documents to both the Premier League and their auditors confirming there has been no change in ownership – with that information approved by both bodies.

It is also believed they have contacted Orbis to inform them that their documents are wrong and to ask them where they obtained their information from.

The Baggies have insisted Lai remained owner whenever asked the question by various media outlets.

But rumours the 46-year-old had handed the club over to an unknown individual led to some concern and confusion amongst the fan base.

And today Shareholders 4 Albion – a group which represents the majority of small shareholders who still own 12 per cent of the club – issued a statement to say they have written to the Premier League seeking clarification on the matter.

The Express & Star has also contacted the Premier League who confirmed they do not comment on ownership issues.

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