Club News

Albion's China links grow

ALBION have strengthened their links with China with news of two ground-breaking ventures for the Club.

The Baggies have signed one of the nation's brightest young football prospects, Yuning Zhang, in a "development project" that they hope could one day see him make a Premier League breakthrough.

This follows confirmation from Palm, the Club's principal sponsors and the company closely associated with controlling shareholder Guochuan Lai, of the new phase of their Eco town building plan which will see as many as six new centres developed in the Club's name.

Both ventures will continue the growth of Albion's profile in one of world football's boom markets – something the Baggies will discover for themselves when they compete in the Premier League Asia Trophy in Hong Kong later this month.

Albion fans will have to be patient to see Zhang in action for the Club as he has been immediately loaned to Bundesliga outfit Werder Bremen to continue his development. 

But this news follows confirmation of Palm's plans to construct new "football towns" bearing the Club's name across China.

Albion's Academy expertise will be a key feature of the projects which will be undertaken by the Palm Eco-Town Development Company.

Li Piyue, Gouchuan Lai's representative on Albion's board, said: "When we announced the change of ownership last year, this was clearly stated as a key part of our business strategy.

"We have made it clear from the outset that the growth of Albion's and Palm's profile in this area would reap mutual benefits and that is still our intention."

The first of the "West Bromwich Albion Soccer Towns" will be built in the south west of China in the city of Guiyang, which is the capital of the Zhou province.

Albion Chairman John Williams welcomed the news saying: “We’re now beginning to see Palm’s strategy for the Club emerge through their expertise and knowledge of the market in China.

“While the board of the Club remains firmly focused on achieving success on the pitch, it is very encouraging to see the development of our profile in China as Guochuan Lai envisaged from the outset.”

Zhang's signing is subject to international clearance.

  • Zhang