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American ice hockey owner linked to bid for Aston Villa takeover

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We've got a new name to look into as Aston Villa takeover negotiations continue.

Aston Villa v Arsenal - Premier League Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

The Standard are reporting that American venture capitalist David Freeman, owner of the NHL's Nashville Predators, is one of the people attempting to buy Aston Villa. Freeman is the founder and CEO of 36 Venture Capital, an organization with investments in ice hockey, baseball (the West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx in AA baseball [think: League One]), and apparently football. I say "apparently" because his investment in English football/"soccer" (quotes for the vagueness of the mention) is mentioned in several places, but I can't track down what exactly it entails.

Freeman made his money through Commodore Medical Services, a medical waste disposal company, and now seemingly works in the world of sport. In 2009 he apparently ran into cash-flow issues that were related at least partially to purchasing the Predators in 2007. There is no further indication that money has been a problem for Freeman.

Now, there's your background research. Let's get to the bigger question: is this happening? If the Standard are correct, Freeman has formed a group called AVFC 1874 to make his bid for the club. Assuming that has indeed happened, it would show serious intent, but it wouldn't guarantee anything at all. Recent reports have had up to three groups interested in purchasing Aston Villa, and it is not immediately clear if Freeman's AVFC 1874 are one of those.

The problem with getting too excited is that we've seen this before. Groups get names, sniff around the club, and then the talks vanish. These have been going on for a few weeks and at least seem to be more substantive, but that's really nothing more than a hunch.

If Freeman did purchase the club, there would certainly be a lot of grumbling to be heard about another American owner. This is the point at which I remind you that "American" does not define someone's ownership style any more than does "English" or "Chinese." There have been successful owners from numerous countries, and there have been massive failures from many more. Freeman is an American, of course, but that doesn't mean we necessarily need to worry about him being "a second Randy Lerner," whatever the sensationalist headlines may have you believe.

We'll be sure to update if anything else comes of this.