By 90Min
July 07, 2018

Aston Villa owner Tony Xia has insisted the club is not for sale and that manager Steve Bruce will remain at the helm next season amid ongoing financial difficulties. 

Villa plunged into financial problems after missing a £4m tax payment earlier this year which was coupled with cash flow issues due to strict rules from Xia's native country.

All of which was compounded further by a need for £40m in sales to comply to Financial Fair Play rules and a play-off final defeat which cost the club a potential £160m in revenue.

The club ultimately reached an agreement with HM Revenue & Customs but Xia revealed he is open to new investment, and has already turned down a number of offers.


In an extensive open letter Xia apologised for a lack of communication to supporters after a turbulent number of weeks saw both the chief executive Keith Wyness and director of football Steve Round leave the club. 


He said, via the club's website: "For the avoidance of doubt, I remain a proud and committed owner of this football club and with that accept and embrace the responsibilities to the fans, players and staff.

"Of course, given the financial realities, it would be prudent of us to be open and receptive to any potential minority strategic investment that would aid our objectives to consolidate after a tumultuous summer and ultimately achieve our ambition of returning to the Premier League."


Manager Bruce, meanwhile, retained Xia's support as he added: "I have had numerous conversations with Steve Bruce in recent weeks, which only reinforced how fortunate we are to have someone of his experience and standing in the game. 


"His leadership will be important for us on the field, as a club and as a community and I thank him for his loyalty.

Clive Mason/GettyImages

"These qualities will be essential as we begin a new season with the fresh hope and expectation it inevitably brings."

With finances forcing the exit of John Terry, Lewis Grabban, Sam Johnstone and Robert Snodgrass, Xia admitted the club could be forced to turn to youngsters next season to ensure they comply with FFP. 


"A more measured approach will enable us to overcome the implications of Financial Fair Play after two years of significant investment in the football department," he said.

"We need to generate sufficient revenue to ensure the smooth-running of the club without compromising the standards of this great institution.

"With that comes a reality check over performance and expectation for the season ahead but also the opportunity to work smartly in the transfer market, bring through young talent and draw on the experience of our manager."

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