Crypto investor Fred Chesnais is in talks with West Brom over a £60m takeover, with owner Guachuan Lai looking to sell the financially struggling Championship club.
By Matt Hughes for Mailonline
Updated: 16:10 25 July 2023
- West Brom owner Gochuan Lai wants to sell the Championship club
- He bought the club for £200m in 2016 but is set to make significant losses
- The club is in talks with crypto investor Fred Chesnais over a £60m takeover.
West Brom are in talks over a £60m takeover from crypto investor Fred Chesnais.
mail sport The French businessman is understood to be prepared to make a cash offer for the Championship club and all its assets, including the Hawthorns and their training ground.
Chesnais is the founder and chief executive of Crypto Blockchain Industries, a company that invests in blockchain-based services across the sports and entertainment industries.
The 59-year-old trained as a lawyer before joining video game company Atari, where he was chief executive until forming his own manufacturing company.
Chesnais’ bid is the first offer to buy the entire club since owner Gochuan Lai slashed his asking price to £65m after Carlos Corberan’s side failed to win promotion to the Premier League last season.
The Chinese businessman wanted to sell and refused to invest more, leaving the club dependent on player sales to continue trading. Captain Dara O’Hare was sold to Burnley for £7million last month and West Brom are hoping for more sales before their Championship campaign kicks off in two weeks’ time.
Lai paid £200m for West Brom seven years ago, but the club have been beset by financial problems that have put off investors.
West Brom will receive no Premier League merit payments next season for the first time since 2002 as they are no longer eligible for parachute money, while they owe £20m to MSD Capital, the private equity firm secured against the Hawthorns.
Egyptian businessman Mohamed Elkashashi has offered to buy a minority stake in the club, but Lai is pushing for a full sale.
Chesnais declined to comment.
West Brom declined to comment.