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Aston Villa is up for sale - any takers?

Tony Marshall

For sale: one football club.
A proud history. A future that should be bright.
One European Cup, seven League titles, seven FA Cups and five League Cups are included with the trophy cabinet.
Incredible fanbase comes along for the ride, although they'll be quick to let you know if they're not satisfied with the progress that you should be making.
Includes one broken star player, a speedy local who often doesn't live up to his potential, a midfielder that finally showed his worth, a concrete defender, and a bunch of other dudes that haven't quite shown themselves capable of playing at the top level.
Batteries not included. Bringing your own cotton wool is recommended.
So is a fully stocked liquor cabinet.

Yes, the news we've all been waiting for has been confirmed. Aston Villa is officially up for sale.

I have come to know well that fates are fickle in the business of English football. And I feel that I have pushed mine well past the limit. The last several seasons have been week in, week out battles and having now come through this last season unfortunately limping amidst very meaningful injuries and constant sale rumours, I feel further that now is the time for me to look for new ownership and thus new leadership.

Lerner didn't even last ten years, having assumed control of the club back in 2006. He's apparently decided that he just doesn't have what it takes to keep Aston Villa going in the direction expected by the club's fans, and it's best to move on before further disaster strikes.

Disaster beyond finishing 15th, or 15th, or...16th. There's been no improvement over the past few seasons, and Villa fans have lost their patience. Lerner knows it, and he's getting out.

What's uncertain is who will be interested in buying the club. And who will stick around. Lerner finished his statement with this rather non-committal statement:

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 BMH, to whom I owe a massive debt of friendship and loyalty, will continue to guide and protect the Club through this period of transition...

Although proceeding with a hasty sale of Aston Villa Football Club seems like it would only produce further turmoil and strife. But allowing it to drag on, with the club heading into another transfer window - and worse, another start of the season - without new ownership, that will bring its own sort of damage.

We don't know what's next. There's certain to be plenty of rumors. There will be plenty claiming to be "in the know". But the only thing we do know right now is that Aston Villa are about to enter a new era.

And that can only be good, right?