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Villa poach summer's most important signing from Arsenal

Aston Villa have officially announced the hiring of former Arsenal CCO Tom Fox as the club's new CEO.

Mark Thompson

Aston Villa have made official what we all have heard coming for a couple of days:

Fox takes over for the role vacated by Paul Faulkner when the latter stepped down in early July. Faulkner had been criticised by many as one of the primary reasons that Villa looked so lost as a football club in recent years.

Those same fans should be mollified by the hiring of Fox, who brings an excellent pedigree to the club. In addition to his most recent duties as CCO of Arsenal (during which he was pivotal in the club signing the second-biggest kit deal in history), Fox has had successful stints at both Nike and Gatorade.

As our own Thomas Jones wrote earlier today, though, it's the time with the Gunners that should have Aston Villa fans most excited. "Arsenal must be one of the best places if not THE best place to earn your stripes as a football businessman."

The move also positions Aston Villa with a very strong CEO as owner Randy Lerner continues his attempts to sell the club. Such an asset could help make the club more stable, and thus more appealing overall. It's hard to believe it, but a man who most of us may never see may actually be the single most important signing of the summer. If he can help lead Aston Villa to a more secure position, he has the potential to herald in new ownership, and with that new optimism. And the great news is that all signs point to this being a smart decision.