Aston Villa FC sold to China

FANS: Enduring demotion and possible sale of club.

AMERICAN billionaire Randy Lerner has agreed to sell recently demoted Aston Villa Football Club to minority shareholder Chinese businessman Dr Tony Xia for £60 million (€78 million) and a spokesman for the club said that Mr Lerner had “sought the right owner to take care of the club and restore fortunes.”

Although the sale is subject to Football League approval, the new chairman will have to find a new manager and decide how to spend the estimated £90 million (€117 million) ‘parachute payment’ payable over three years if the club remains in the lower league, although this is a miniscule amount compared to the share of TV rights that Premier League clubs receive.

Dr Xia is the owner of Recon Group, a holding company that has the controlling interest in various listed companies on the Hong Kong and Chinese stock exchanges, which between them employ 35,000 people in 75 countries.

He has high expectations of returning the club to the Premier League and making it the most famous football club in China.

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