West Brom gave £4.95m loan to company owned by chairman Guochuan Lai

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The club revealed the details of the loan in its published 2020/21 accounts

West Bromwich Albion gave a loan of £4.95m to a company owned by the club’s chairman and owner Guochuan Lai.

The loan was provided to help the company through the coronavirus pandemic.

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West Brom revealed the details of the loan in the club’s accounts, which were published on Thursday (30 June).

West Bromwich Albion owner Guochuan LaiWest Bromwich Albion owner Guochuan Lai
West Bromwich Albion owner Guochuan Lai | Getty

A statement from the club, read: “In March 2021 the club loaned £4,950,000 to Wisdom Smart Corporation Limited, a related party to Controlling Shareholder Guochuan Lai, with interest fixed at £50,000 and repayment due on 15 September 2021.

“A new repayment date of 31 December 2022 has since been agreed.”

What has Lai said abou the loan?

In a statement on the club’s website, Lai said he will ‘repay the loan in full’.

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He said: “I remain committed to returning the football club to the Premier League and I am confident we will be able to compete for promotion from the Championship this coming season.

“The club’s annual accounts for the 2020/21 season detail a loan to Wisdom Smart Corporation Limited, a related party to me. Regrettably, the COVID-19 pandemic saw my international businesses suffer, particularly those in the hospitality and entertainment sector, which experienced an almost complete closure for long periods, and in March 2021 I received a loan from the football club.

“The upturn in the global economy has brought with it greater positivity and I can confirm I will repay the loan in full, with interest, by the end of the current calendar year and the funds will be available to the club during the January 2023 transfer window.

“I am looking forward to an exciting season for Albion and again thank fans for their dedicated support of the football club. I will return to The Hawthorns to watch a game at the earliest opportunity, and I am excited to see the progress the team has made this summer.”

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