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Who is Dr. Tony Xia, Aston Villa’s new owner?

Welcome to Birmingham, Tony. Treat us well.

I think you'll all join me in saying a huge Néih Hóu to Dr. Tony Xia, the new owner of Aston Villa FC.

There's a lot to worry about, though. Villa are in the hands of someone from far away, from a different culture with different principles. It's never the time to treat that worry with xenophobia, though and instead research and understanding should be cultivated.

So, who is Tony Xia?

Well, from the photo up top, you can see he's a bloody handsome guy. He's also a keen footballer and knows the game well.

He's also very smart. So smart that he could probably solve a Rubiks cube backwards whilst messing around with some Sudoku - seconds after emerging from the womb. Seriously, Tony went to Harvard and MIT and was named as one of China's top 25 graduates in his national class of 1,000.

More importantly, Tony Xia spent time in England studying at Oxford University, so he's well aware of our culture. He's not coming to Aston Villa blind.

So how does Tony have the cash to buy Villa? Well, he might just blow the previous owner Randy Lerner out of the water. Xia is the Chairman of the Recon Group, a holding corporation that manages a portfolio of companies within China. A layman's description of the Recon Group would be that they are basically the company that owns the company that owns Walgreen/Boots (the Chinese equivalent of those pharmacies, though) as well as an absolute hatful of other brands across FIVE other sectors of business. Tony is a powerful man:

'Recon Group is a multinational conglomerate operating in six core business sectors and has taken advantage of China's economic growth over the last two decades as the Government has carried out a programme of moving 500 million people from rural to urban living. Recon Group has been at the forefront of this giant urbanisation development and holds an estimated 40% market share of the Digital City business sector. The six core business sectors include IT Infrastructure and Services for Smart Cities, Health & Agriculture, New Energy & Smart Transportation, Engineering & Design, Recon Capital including financial services and Sports, Leisure & Tourism. Lotus Health Group, part of the Health and Agriculture Division, is listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange and is the largest glutamic company in China and the second largest in the world with 12,000 employees, 10,000 distributors in China and 40,000 worldwide in 70 countries.' - AVFC

And in that sense, he's the positive parallel of Lerner. Where Lerner is a bookworm intellectual, Xia is wise and knowledgeable. Where Lerner is wealthy, Xia is unlimited. That may be an issue - Lerner seemed detached from the Villa fanbase, but Xia is on a higher level than Lerner and in theory, should be completely unrelatable to the average Villa fan. Only time will tell with that and Leicester's owners are similar and they seem to have got the gist of things.

On a final note, Xia is a Villa fan! Whilst this isn't a measure of how well he will run Villa, it's somewhat of a positive start.

All in all, Xia deserves your trust until he proves otherwise. The pitch is slow and straight and god, all he has to do is swing and he's a hero. Time to knock it out of the park, Tony.