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Premier League: West Brom owner says he is not selling club

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West Brom chairman Jeremy Peace insisted at the weekend  that he is not looking to sell the club.

Peace issued a statement in the match programme for the opening Premier League game of the season against Sunderland to hit back at “nonsensical conspiracy theories” over his plans.

Peace increased his shareholding to over 75 per cent this summer, increasing his control over the club and sparking rumours that he could sell his majority stake.

But Peace said: “I heard all sorts of nonsensical conspiracy theories about this which I would like to address.

“Am I looking to sell the club? No. Am I negotiating to sell? No. Would I sell to the right offer from suitable investor?

"Only – I repeat only – if he, she or they could guarantee the continued advance of the club.

“In many ways, this has been the case ever since I started on this journey.

“Why buy the shares? I have devoted the last 14 or so years of my life to the club and believe I have delivered real progress – why wouldn’t I extend my sha­reh­ol­ding?

“I am backing myself to continue building a better Albion."

Peace also used the statement to again defend the contro­ver­si­al appointment of Alan Irvine as head coach and repeat his pledge to learn lessons from last season’s close shave with relegation.

He said: “Last season’s campaign was one of the least enjoyable I have experienced in my 12 years as chairman.

“The anguish and tension that at times filled the stadium did not stop at the directors’ box, where the consequences of losing Premier League status are with us every waking hour.

“West Bromwich Albion is a club about to begin its fifth consecutive season of Premier League football and that is no small achievement when you take account of the intense competition around us.

“But in order to maintain this profile, everyone – absolutely everyone – at the club has to perform to maximum efficiency and last season we didn’t.

“I freely admit that I was among those who got things wrong and as chairman, that weighs heavily with me.”

Peace also pledged to add to the eight new players already signed this summer.

West Brom opened the season with a 3-2 win over Sunderland to give Irvine his first Premier League win as a manager.

JB

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