2018: No.3 - £2.6bn
2017: No.3 - £2.8bn
The mystery would-be buyer - a US investor - reportedly made an offer which valued the Midlands only Premier League club at £180 million, but chairman John Williams made it clear the Chinese owners had no interest in selling.
Guochuan Lai paid former chairman Jeremy Peace (qv) around £200 million in summer 2016 for an 88 per cent controlling interest in WBA Holdings Ltd. For his money he got a well-run, stable club - one of the most financially solid in the Premiership.
In the year to June 2016 WBA Holdings increased its turnover to £98.3 million. Profits were slightly down due to differences in player trading but the club still made a profit approaching £5 million. Gate receipts were £7.7 million while merchandising revenue grew to £3 million from £2.7 million.
Guochuan Lai has stated that he intends to maintain the club's stable structure and respect its heritage, establishing the club in the top-half of the Premiership. To date his ambitions have not been reflected in the team's performances, which resulted in manager Tony Pulis being shown the door in November.
West Bromwich Albion is now largely owned by Chinese investment company Yunyi Guokai (Shanghai) Sports Development Ltd, which is controlled by Guochuan Lai. Former chairman of Blackburn Rovers, John Williams took over the chairman's role from Jeremy Peace. Pi Yue Li has joined the board as a director and representative of the new owner.
Guochuan Lai was born in Guangdong Province and is former general manager of Chinese landscaping giant Palm. He remains a director of a number of Palm's subsidiaries including Belt Collins International, Palm Landscape (Hong Kong), and Palm Design Holdings.
For more than 20 years Guochuan helped develop Palm from a regional landscape engineering company to one of the biggest in China. It is dedicated to the development of eco-towns in China and is listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.
In addition he has a number of growing private investments in technology, virtual reality, tourism and sport.
While he remains in China to manage his many business interests, he has pledged to visit the Hawthorns "as often as possible and fully support the chairman and executive team."
Meanwhile Palm has signed an agreement with the Chinese Guizhou Province to develop the country's first "sports town". The series of eco-developed town' will be called "West Bromwich Albion Sports Soccer Towns". When they are built, West Brom will export its expertise and help teach local youngsters how to play and coach football.