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Aston Villa Is For Sale Confirms Billionaire Owner Randy Lerner

aston villa for sale 600x450 Aston Villa Is For Sale Confirms Billionaire Owner Randy Lerner

Billionaire owner Randy Lerner has had enough of Aston Villa and has put the Premier League club up for sale.

The Aston Villa owner hopes to complete the sale in the next six weeks, and has employed two major US banks as advisors, hinting that the club could be sold to investors in the US, as has long been rumored.

In a statement on the club website, Lerner revealed:

“It is time for me to dwell among my own and get on with other aspects of my career, following a sale.

“Above all, the debt I owe Aston Villa whether as owner, Chairman, custodian or simply as a fan is to put the Club first. To make good on that debt, I owe it to Villa to move on, and look for fresh, invigorated leadership, if in my heart I feel I can no longer do the job.

“During my time with Villa, I have tried to strengthen and improve the Club’s physical infrastructure both at Villa Park and Bodymoor Heath while also trying to carry on the McGregor tradition of being mindful of the local community we serve. Above all in this effort is the connection the Club has made with Acorns; the caring, kindness and warmth that players, staff, managers and supporters have shown to Mr Strudley and Acorns has wiped away all disappointments and sobered my finest memories. Still, I can see now that it is time, if possible, to hand these privileges and responsibilities to the next person or group to take the Club forward. I am appreciative of the support I have received, even in these last years of comparative struggle when criticism was due, and will look on with others – with fingers crossed, for stronger future performance appropriate to our size and heritage.

“On a practical level, the Club will continue with its normal operations and plans for the summer. I’ve no doubt that the core staff at both Villa Park and Bodmoor Heath, to whom I owe a massive debt of friendship and loyalty, will continue to guide and protect the Club through this period of transition according to their collective sense of professional pride and long term service to Villa – the vast majority having preceded my tenure.

“Finally, in light of the above, I have engaged Bank of America Merrill Lynch to advise on the sale of Aston Villa.”

Under Lerner’s leadership at Aston Villa, the club has upgraded its infrastructure and services but the American owner has not had the success he would like to see on the pitch. For two seasons in a row, the club finished in 15th position. The best the club has done in recent years was the sixth place finishes in the 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 seasons.

After buying the club in 2007, Lerner made immediate changes by changing the club’s crest, shirt sponsor and making several team changes. Lerner pumped millions into Aston Villa. The club made it to the 2010 League Cup Final. However, after manager Martin O’Neill was sacked in the summer of 2010, the club went downhill with a string of managers who were unable to achieve the same level of success that O’Neill reached. In 2012, the club announced that the club reported a financial loss of £59million.

Here’s a video clip of better times at Aston Villa, with the supporters chanting Randy Lerner’s name in 2007:

For mobile viewers, watch the video here.

This entry was posted in Aston Villa, Leagues: EPL. Bookmark the permalink.

About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
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3 Responses to Aston Villa Is For Sale Confirms Billionaire Owner Randy Lerner

  1. StellaWasAlwaysDown says:

    Good for Mr. Lerner, and good for the club. Mr. Lerner can now enjoy life without armchair owners questioning his every move/motive, and the club can move forward with trying to rebuild and be competitive. It’s not how you play anymore as how much money you throw at it. Lerner was *only* worth about a billion, which sadly wasn’t enough to take us to the promise land or keep us there. On to a new sugar daddy who hopefully has a lot to spend.

    I don’t like the game as it is now, but understand that if you don’t want to end up outside the PL looking it, then you have to have a big owner. The past few seasons have seen Villa narrowly miss being dropped multiple times. Villa is a big club, and we should be top 10 every season fighting for a spot in Europe.

    UTV

    • Blaque Costeau says:

      Truth be told, money (or subsequent lack thereof) is not the issue for Aston Villa; it’s dearth of talent and poor management. After all, Aston Villa is still in the top 10 in terms of salaries in the Premier League, spending twice what Swansea does. Swansea obviously is getting more for its bucks than Villa is, and that’s primarily because of smart personnel decisions. Michu and Bony were smart, relatively frugal purchases–ones that Villa has rarely made over the years.

      The other problem Villa has is management. The popular narrative is, of course, poor Paul Lambert had to make do with little money. Perhaps there is a measure of truth to that, but it’s just that: a measure. It still doesn’t explain under-utilizing young talent such as Albrighton and Lowton. It doesn’t explain not letting Robinson play full-time in the latter weeks in favor of Grant Holt. It doesn’t explain purchasing Sylla and a few others who just haven’t panned out.

      Until the poor selection of talent and poor management are sorted out, it doesn’t really matter who’s bankrolling Aston Villa, unfortunately.

      • StellaWasAlwaysDown says:

        A few bad moves by past managers (and sanctioning management) has definitely played a role. Unfortunately for Lambert, he’s had to contend with Given, Ireland, Hutton, etc. who severely hampered spending to improve. Even Bent was a hindrance until sold as he wasn’t in the plans.

        But I will say that there have been some real head scratchers as far as squad selection, and dud additions like Holt who we didn’t need.

        Faulkner will be out with Lerner so that’ll take care of many of the problems!

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