Xia axed from Aston Villa board after failure to pay Lerner £30m bonus fee

August 12 – Aston Villa have parted ways with businessman and former owner Tony Xia (pictured). The Chinese was removed as director and member of the board after he failed to pay his predecessor Randy Lerner a £30 million bonus. Instead Wes Edens and Nassef Sawiris – who bought control from Xia – have stepped up to increase their share and fulfil the debt.

In June 2016 the American Randy Lerner sold Villa to Xia for £76 million after the club were relegated from the Premier League, but when Villa subsequently failed to gain promotion back to the top flight financial issues were beginning to expose the smokescreen Xia largely put up with his vocal presence on social media.

Administration was looming for the club when NSWE, a company headed by the world’s fourth-richest African Nassef Sawiris and American private equity investor Wes Edens, bought a 55% stake in 2018.

Under Xia’s ownership the club spent big, but with little reward. Villa lost about £50 million during his two seasons in charge.

Since the arrival of Sawiris and Edens the club’s financial position has stabilised. The club is run through the Recon Group UK holding company and has seen an injection of £200 million. Villa spent over £100 million on 12 new signings during the close season to try and build a competitive team for their return to the top flight.

At the weekend Villa opened their league season with a 3-1 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur. John McGinn had given the visitors a surprise lead early on and Villa stayed competitive until a quick-fire brace from Harry Kane in the last five minutes tilted the game in Tottenham’s favour.

Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1580286285labto1580286285ofdlr1580286285owedi1580286285sni@o1580286285fni1580286285