The Birmingham Mail have done the math, and it turns out that Aston Villa have cost Randy Lerner an astonishing £300.3 million in his time as owner. The figure includes the £62.6 million purchase price of the club as well as £20 million in forgiven interest payments and a jaw-dropping £217.7 million in losses.
All told, those numbers add up to half of Lerner's estimated £600 million fortune. The Mail refers to this as a third of his fortune, and I think what they're saying is that "Had Lerner never bought Aston Villa he'd be worth £900 million." That's a fairly steep price to pay for a club who have, at their best under his stewardship, been on the fringes of being pretty good.
Realizing that he's lost so much money in Villa and coupling that with his apparent lack of interest in doing much with the club is as good of an explanation as there is for him selling it. If he can get the £200 million he's asking for the club he will still have a net loss of more than £100 million, which is more money than most of us will make in our lives.
On one hand, it's easy to feel a bit sorry for Lerner. He tried to make the club work, and it didn't. You can't fault him for trying. On the other hand, he's been an absentee owner for a few years now, and at least some of those losses are his fault for not investing wisely in the club.
Also, tough to feel sorry for a guy who is still worth at least £600 million. I mean, his life could be much worse.