Author Topic: Is the Hawthorns safe from Lai?  (Read 3720 times)

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Baggies

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Is the Hawthorns safe from Lai?
« on: June 28, 2019, 04:59:59 PM »
Totally conjecture of course, but I think it is something that needs raising in the current climate.

In the last 6 months, 3 championship promotion chasers have sold their grounds to their owners. Derby and Sheff Wed did it and now it has been revealed that, to beat a big FFP fine, Villa Park has been bought by Edens and Sawiris. It is also believed that 1 or 2 others have done it this season however it is not yet public knowledge which clubs they are.

It is a growing trend and the football league are now looking at their own rules, no doubt at their normal snails pace, and it does raise questions for how safe we are, given our own ownership and financial situation.

At this stage we seem to be financially stable, with us being in a position where we have players that we could sell to balance the books and with our bigger wage earners slowly leaving.

The worry however comes if Lai, wanting to recoup his investment by getting us back to the prem, decides to bank roll a promotion push by buying the stadium from us. If this fails, we are left with an absent owner and no ground.

Villa is the classic example, as, while Edens and Shawaris seem great owners based on that track record, it only takes a business fall out between them and things could get very ugly there.

I think as fans we need to be really aware of this growing trend and the danger it holds for us as a club.
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Re: Is the Hawthorns safe from Lai?
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2019, 06:29:47 PM »
Am I right in saying he can't chuck money around in the UK in any way shape or form at the moment?
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Re: Is the Hawthorns safe from Lai?
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2019, 06:59:22 PM »
At the moment this is being sold to fans as a ruse to get round FFP. I do not like it, in part because it should not be allowed under FFP regulations and selling a long term assest to prop up short term day to day expenditure is really bad financial management (not that I care if the vile go bust)

However it means the club loses control of the ground, both Coventry and Brighton fans will tell you how badly that can end. While Brighton have recovered they had 12 years being homeless and at times were very close to folding. SISU might be the main problem at Coventry but everything stems from when they lost control of their ground in the move to the RIOCH.

Whatever happens to a club provided it has a ground it has something to cling to lose the ground and you can lose the club.

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divinewind

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Re: Is the Hawthorns safe from Lai?
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2019, 11:26:10 PM »
This is my biggest worry. Lai may be a lot of things but stupid isn't one of them.
Something he saw in the club made him pay way way over the odds for us, since he has shown little interest in the playing side what could be the attraction?

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Re: Is the Hawthorns safe from Lai?
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2019, 07:10:35 AM »
This is my biggest worry. Lai may be a lot of things but stupid isn't one of them.
Something he saw in the club made him pay way way over the odds for us, since he has shown little interest in the playing side what could be the attraction?

Using a football club to improve your own brands (Palm) recognition around the world, obviously much better if that club is in the Premier League.
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Standaman

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Re: Is the Hawthorns safe from Lai?
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2019, 09:22:50 AM »
In terms of why Lai bought the club it was solely to get on the Chinese football bandwagon and curry favour with the Chinese authorities. It was also a useful vehicle for Lai and his associates who had a fortune in exclusively Chinese based enterprises to export some of that cash. Okay the authorities changed their mind when things got out of control and our relegation has not helped matters and right now Lai and his associates are stuck to the tune of about £150m maybe more.

Can Lai recoup his money through the sale of the Hawthorns (he or Palm can't buy it because the Chinese won't let him spend any more money on the football club)? No, in short in order to realise the value of the land he would have to apply for planning permission. He won't get it unless he has an alternative site in Sandwell and a proposal to build a new stadium which would almost certainly swallow anything he got from the sale of Hawthorns site. 

The only way redevelopment could save his investment would be as part of a major urban renewal initiative for the Western fringes of Birmingham and West Bromwich. However it is as likely the club and it's stadium would be central to that development rather than someone offering the club a fortune to build a nice new office block on the Hawthorns site. And there is nothing like this in the pipeline not even a proposal or even a whisper of a proposal. So not going to happen in the short term.

The only way for Lai is to sell the football club as a going concern and the only chance he has of getting that sale is to get us promoted to Premier League and even then he will struggle.       
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Re: Is the Hawthorns safe from Lai?
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2019, 10:03:36 AM »
The only way redevelopment could save his investment would be as part of a major urban renewal initiative for the Western fringes of Birmingham and West Bromwich. However it is as likely the club and it's stadium would be central to that development rather than someone offering the club a fortune to build a nice new office block on the Hawthorns site. And there is nothing like this in the pipeline not even a proposal or even a whisper of a proposal. So not going to happen in the short term.   
It has often struck me that if 'someone' wanted to redevelop the Stadium site what could they build there?
Not enough money in a retail development these days I would guess so that leaves housing of some kind and who would want to live on the edge of a major road, close to a major motorway junction and close to one of Europe's largest bakeries that emits the smell of baking bread constantly (I love the smell of baking bread but several times a day seven days a week might be pushing it!)
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Re: Is the Hawthorns safe from Lai?
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2019, 10:30:41 AM »
It has often struck me that if 'someone' wanted to redevelop the Stadium site what could they build there?
Not enough money in a retail development these days I would guess so that leaves housing of some kind and who would want to live on the edge of a major road, close to a major motorway junction and close to one of Europe's largest bakeries that emits the smell of baking bread constantly (I love the smell of baking bread but several times a day seven days a week might be pushing it!)

Exactly, when I say major urban redevelopment I mean nothing that is currently standing in swathe of land from the motorway junction either side of the Birmingham Rd to the Birmingham boundary or further. Being replaced with high end commercial and residential real estate. This sort of redevelopment is common in China but virtually unheard of in the UK. It is only as part of something on that kind of scale that Lai could hope to get out of his current hole through the sale of the Hawthorns just building a few houses would not cut it.
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Re: Is the Hawthorns safe from Lai?
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2019, 06:31:22 PM »
Am I right in thinking that we own - or did at one point - all the land between the hawthorns and the foot bridge on the A41?  Plus some properties, including Mail Box apartments?

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Re: Is the Hawthorns safe from Lai?
« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2019, 12:39:29 AM »
Am I right in thinking that we own - or did at one point - all the land between the hawthorns and the foot bridge on the A41?  Plus some properties, including Mail Box apartments?


We don't own the hire plant.
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Re: Is the Hawthorns safe from Lai?
« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2019, 03:15:30 PM »
Owners a dingle who won't sell to spite us i've heard.

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Re: Is the Hawthorns safe from Lai?
« Reply #11 on: June 30, 2019, 08:42:50 PM »
Didn't our old board member Brandrick own the hire plant ?

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Re: Is the Hawthorns safe from Lai?
« Reply #12 on: June 30, 2019, 09:59:47 PM »
Owners a dingle who won't sell to spite us i've heard.
I use to have dealings with them when I was a plant engineer and the then manager was a Spurs fan, he was a small cog in a company that deals globally in all sorts of construction matters,this plant hire is only a small part of its business division which is quite diverse. it's a very successful and profitable business so I don't see them selling anytime soon.

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Re: Is the Hawthorns safe from Lai?
« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2019, 08:54:54 AM »
I use to have dealings with them when I was a plant engineer and the then manager was a Spurs fan, he was a small cog in a company that deals globally in all sorts of construction matters,this plant hire is only a small part of its business division which is quite diverse. it's a very successful and profitable business so I don't see them selling anytime soon.

Depends what they are offered, if someone pays £200m for a football club they aren't really interested in they will pay to buy the final piece of land in a jig saw puzzle,
The hire plant can always relocate.

Aren't we supposed to have a short term plan and a long term plan?
I would guess the short term plan is back to the prem, and assume the long term one involves our ground and land we own.

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Re: Is the Hawthorns safe from Lai?
« Reply #14 on: July 01, 2019, 09:40:44 AM »
Depends what they are offered, if someone pays £200m for a football club they aren't really interested in they will pay to buy the final piece of land in a jig saw puzzle,
The hire plant can always relocate.

Aren't we supposed to have a short term plan and a long term plan?
I would guess the short term plan is back to the prem, and assume the long term one involves our ground and land we own.

I'd guess the short term plan is get to the Premier league under the tenure of Bilic, the long term plan will be staying there. Not sure it will involve selling the ground or even renaming it.

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Re: Is the Hawthorns safe from Lai?
« Reply #15 on: July 01, 2019, 11:12:46 AM »
I don't think we will sell the ground. I hope we don't rename it.
Lai is a developer who has built sport villages and landscaped areas in China.
There is a reason he spent so much money on us.

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Re: Is the Hawthorns safe from Lai?
« Reply #16 on: July 01, 2019, 11:23:52 AM »
I don't think we will sell the ground. I hope we don't rename it.
Lai is a developer who has built sport villages and landscaped areas in China.
There is a reason he spent so much money on us.


So what is the reason DV?

Or have you answered it in your previous sentence, as in 'Lai is a developer'?
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Re: Is the Hawthorns safe from Lai?
« Reply #17 on: July 01, 2019, 11:31:52 AM »
I don't think we will sell the ground. I hope we don't rename it.
Lai is a developer who has built sport villages and landscaped areas in China.
There is a reason he spent so much money on us.

Could be Lai wanted to get to be associated with a premier league club in order to boost Palm's pedigree in China and also overseas, we were up for sale and looked like a steady ship at the time. Maybe JP saw how keen he was and asked an inflated price which was accepted?
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Re: Is the Hawthorns safe from Lai?
« Reply #18 on: July 01, 2019, 12:51:56 PM »
Lai hasn't got the disposable cash outside of China to buy The Hawthorns from the club. If he did, he'd have paid back the £4.1 million loan he inherited from Peace.

What we have to be worried about is a third party buying it and renting it back to us.