Less than two weeks after appearing in the Championship play-off final, Aston Villa could be forced to liquidate after reportedly being issued with a winding-up order by HM Revenue and Customs.
Subsequently, the club has suspended Chief Executive Keith Wyness, after the club failed to pay a series of outstanding taxes. The club's owner and chairman, Dr Tony Xia, will take over Wyness' responsibilities until further notice, as confirmed by Aston Villa in a statement on their club website.
Exclusive: Aston Villa Football Club suspends CEO Keith Wyness less than a fortnight after Championship play-off final defeat and amid suggestions that HMRC has served a winding-up order against Villa, one of England's oldest professional football clubs, for missing tax payment.— Mark Kleinman (@MarkKleinmanSky) June 5, 2018
The Scotsman took over the role at Villa Park in August 2016, having previously held similar roles at both Everton and Aberdeen. News of Wyness' suspension will come as a crushing blow to Villa, with the club having narrowly missed out on promotion back to the riches of the Premier League.
The club's financial plight could in part be to do with the end of their parachute payment plan, which has now ended following their relegation from the Premier League two years ago.
They have made a host of big-money signings since dropping out of England's top flight, with extortionate transfer fees paid out for the likes of Jonathan Kodjia, Scott Hogan and Ross McCormack among various others.
They now face an uncertain future, with Jack Grealish and many other stars now tipped to leave as the cub look to rein back on their excessive spending.