LONDON: West Bromwich Albion announced Friday they had suspended talks with a possible buyer for the Premier League club as chairman Jeremy Peace said he “would not be held to ransom”.
The BBC reported that a period of exclusivity in takeover talks granted to a Chinese consortium had ended because Peace was not satisfied with the speed of negotiations.
And in a statement issued on the Midlands club’s website on Friday, Peace confirmed that he was now ready to listen to other offers.
“I have today brought to a close the period of exclusivity announced on July 3 and suspended negotiations with the interested party involved over the sale of West Bromwich Albion Holdings Ltd,” Peace said.
“I entered into an exclusivity arrangement in good faith after agreeing terms for the sale but it is now clear to me that this potential purchaser is unable to fulfil the terms of that agreement at this time.”
Peace, chairman since 2003, had reportedly valued the Baggies at between £150 million-£200 million ($232-$310 million, 141-283 million euros).
West Brom finished in 13th place last season and comfortably avoided relegation from English football’s top flight.
Peace added he was determined not to let off-field matters disrupt the Baggies’ progress under manager Tony Pulis
“The club’s long-term stability and continued development is of paramount importance and I am not satisfied that the interests of West Bromwich Albion would have been best served by my continuing discussions at present,” he said.
“It is important that I re-emphasise that the possible sale of the club does not and will not impact upon its day-to-day running and that this applies particularly in an area which I know concerns all supporters — team strengthening.
“This is a period in which there is always an understandable impatience for new signings to strengthen our squad and nowhere is this pressure more keenly felt than at board level.
“But we will not be held to ransom. Of course I know this can add to supporter frustration but I do believe they will see our efforts come to fruition over the course of the transfer window.”