WBA's goal is pounds 7.5m AIM flotation

West Bromwich Albion yesterday became the latest football club to sign up for a stock market flotation by announcing plans to join the junior Alternative Investment Market in the new year with a pounds 7.5m price tag.

The news came as Sunderland of the Premier League revealed its public offer had been oversubscribed 2.7 times, providing further evidence of investors' appetite for shares in football clubs. Dealings in Sunderland shares are due to begin on Christmas Eve.

West Brom's flotation involves the admission of 73,265 ordinary shares of pounds 10 each. In the 13 months to June, West Brom made a pre-tax profit of pounds 171,000 on a turnover of pounds 5.43m compared with a loss of pounds 489,000 in the year to May 1995.

The club, nicknamed the Baggies, will have the added satisfaction of beating arch-rivals Birmingham City to a stock market quotation as dealings in its shares are due to begin on 3 January.

Earlier this week, first division rivals Sheffield United became a public company via a reverse takeover of Conrad, a quoted leisure group, while Newcastle United of the Premier League confirmed plans to seek a full listing in the spring.