Little is known about West Brom’s reserved owner. Yet, having paid out hundreds of millions to purchase the club, the Guochuan Lai net worth is thought to be unsurprisingly high.
Xi Jinping, the President of China, has whipped his people into a football frenzy.
While unconfirmed, it is widely believed that those willing to invest in sports are receiving incentives from the Chinese government. The East Asian nation aims to build the biggest sport economy in the world by 2025 and is working hard to achieve its goal.
As a result, the likes of billionaire businessmen Wang Jianlin and and Zhang Jindong have since joined the game.
Guochuan Lai is the latest name on the list, following his £200 million takeover of Premier League club West Brom.
Guochuan has kept to himself following the takeover, leaving chairman John Williams to keep the club running smoothly. But who is the Chinese businessman, what does he do and how much is he worth?
Guochuan Lai net worth: Who knew that growing plants could be so lucrative?
Lai is one of China’s most successful businessmen. He is the former general manager of Palm Eco-Town Development Company. The business started as a plant nursery, raising plants to a usable size, before selling them on. However, during Lai’s 20 years at the company, Palm developed into China’s biggest landscape developer.
Lai was handsomely rewarded for his time and effort, having transformed Palm into multi-billion dollar business. While he remains on the board of directors, he has since stepped down from his role in order to pursue his own business opportunities.
He has put together a growing list of investments in the tech, tourism and sports industry. However, his biggest purchase so far has been West Brom, which reportedly set him back by £150-200 million.
It remains unclear what his intentions are. With lucrative broadcasting rights deals earning Premier League clubs millions of pounds each year, Lai is likely to recoup the money that he paid in just a few years if he limits the club’s spending. Although, he has insisted that he is a lifelong football fan and hopes to take West Brom to the top.
The clubs fans will be hopeful that their new owner intends to increase his investment by financing big-money transfers. With an estimated wealth of $4.4 billion, Guochuan Lai certainly has the money to take West Brom to the top.