Buidling Dreams Together


Shilen Patel: A look into West Bromwich Albion’s new owner

English football’s latest American Owner

Top flight English football along with its following divisions have become an attractive investment opportunity for many American businessmen over the last two decades; Stan Kroenke (Arsenal), Todd Boehly (Chelsea), Wesley Edens (Aston Villa) just to name a few. One of the latest additions to the list is America born Florida native, Shilen Patel taking control of West Bromwich Albion in a £60million deal. An already minority shareholder in Serie A club, Bologna FC since 2014 Shilen has now stepped into the realm of English football standing in the midst of some of the most exciting football in the world. As West Brom continue their journey of returning to the premier league, Patel brings an aura of ambition paired with realism and the baggies supporters are happy to see this especially after his recent comments: ”I look forward to having an ongoing dialogue with the fans and all of the other stakeholders of the club.”

Being involved within Bologna FC for the last decade has definitely been great preparation for the new task at hand teaching him many lessons he can carry into this new venture. Becoming a part owner in 2014 when Bologna FC were in Serie B, watching them be promoted to the top tier of Italian football and now currently sitting in a Champions league table position, has taught Patel the importance of patience. He stated that ”These years in particular have showed me the importance of patience. It allowed me to go into pursuing this with eyes wide open.” We can expect to see a patient ownership of the club but also very optimistic.

Patel’s Ambitions

Albion sit 5th in the table with 63 points and 9 games left, collecting 3 wins and 2 draws in their last 5 they seem a team in good form. Regardless of this recent form and a win heavy season Shilen Patel refuses to get ahead of himself stating ”The biggest mistake you can make, with any Championship club, is assuming that next season you’re going to be in the Premier League.” Patel seems to understand the massive magnitude of resilience and perseverance a club in the Championship must take in order to progress to the most competitive league in the world. He remains realistic especially with the playoffs being such an intense period at the end of the season.

Shilen also insists his interest within the Albion comes from his philanthropic nature that stems from his own family. He has a broader vision whilst in charge of the club, a vision of creating global academies in places where no academies exist and the local youth have no footballing opportunities. ”I see a lot of possibilities now with West Bromwich Albion in changing mindsets. I have a broader vision of creating global academies in places where there are none. And it’s all about my contribution to this legacy” Patel said during his radio interview with Steve Hermon.

Changes in the club to be made?

There are certainly no changes which need to be made in the managerial position at the Baggies and this is reiterated through the words of the new owner. Carlos Corberan, the manager of the club has transformed West Brom FC ,a once consistent premier league participant, from a nearing relegation side to a team nearing a play-off journey and in less then 18 months; he is most certainly the man for the job. Shilen Patel has supported this calling him a ‘great fit’ further saying ”To have someone like Carlos already allows you to think about the best outcomes, rather than worrying about what’s next.’ We can see his belief in the manager so the question is, are the players safe? This remains to be seen depending heavily on the rest of the season but in the Albion’s current form this side is seeming quite proficient. A promotion to the Premier League once again would only mean an advantageous boost in players.

Shilen Patel will be further overjoyed in his role as West Brom owner depending upon the results of the Championship playoffs but he remains adamant upon his realism perspective; the sign of an excited yet mature owner. The Baggies fandom is relieved to be free of Lai, an owner who riddled them with debt of millions of pounds and would not be able to financially support the club so what remains is to see the direction in which Shilen Patel can take the well known side.

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