Ex-owner Dr Tony Xia is no longer involved with Aston Villa after the new owners paid a £30m debt which saw them take his last shares in Villa.

Wes Edens and Nassef Sawiris bought a controlling stake from Xia in 2018.

When Villa were promoted to the in May, Xia was supposed to pay £30m to Randy Lerner, the man from whom he bought the club.

As he could not pay, the debt fell to Villa – and in exchange for his stake the new owners have paid it off.

American Lerner sold Villa to Chinese businessman Xia in June 2016 for £76m, after the club were relegated from the .

When they failed to win promotion under Xia, financial issues came to light.

In 2018, billionaire businessmen Edens and Sawiris bought a controlling stake in the club.

The 2016 deal for Xia, 42, to buy Villa from Lerner contained a clause that triggered the £30m payment to the American if the club were promoted back to the top flight within three years.

But, when Villa beat Derby at in May’s Championship play-off final, Xia did not have the money to pay Lerner.

With the club now liable for the sum, Eden and Sawiris stepped in with a further cash injection through their company NSWE, taking over Xia’s remaining stake in Villa and ending his financial interest in the club.

Xia’s time at the club was characterised by huge spending, with little reward, and Villa lost £50m during the two years under his ownership.

After missing out on promotion in 2018, the club were understood to be days from going into administration before Sawiris and Edens stepped in.

They were also in danger of a significant Financial Fair Play sanction from the Football League.

Since then, the pair have spent about £200m on stabilising the club, which is run through the Recon Group UK holding company.

Villa have spent in excess of £100m on 12 new signings during the close season in order to try to secure their place to the top flight.

They start the season away to on Saturday at 17:30 BST.


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