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Don't panic - Xia's takeover is still going ahead

Tony Marshall/Getty Images

The finest traditions of media gossip were on show this morning when the Daily Mail reported that the purchase of Aston Villa by Dr. Tony Xia was set to be rejected due to lack of funds.

It was a gossip column piece but that never stops the Talksport crew, who turned to legendary purveyor of In The Know secrets Ray Wilkins and his anonymous mate. He said:

"Funnily enough, I’ve got a very dear friend who knows a lot what’s going on and he tells me that that is not going through."

It was all set up for days of lovely column-filling gossip and speculation and winding up Villa fans but then the BBC came down hard on it:

It has been reported that Xia has failed to demonstrate he possesses the necessary funds to complete the deal.

But BBC Sport has learned £52m has been paid into an escrow account, ready to be transferred to current Villa owner Randy Lerner.

Xia has also provided proof of funds that will guarantee he takes on an existing debt of £25m.

The report also included that Dr. Xia has assured the Premier League and Football League he can cover operating costs for the next two season and if the club returns to the Premier League within three years there will be an extra payment of £25 million to Lerner.

The BBC report is just a teensy bit more detailed than the Mail's vague speculations and Ray Wilkins' "dear friend" so all signs are that the takeover is still on track.

That doesn't mean there's not a whole lot of questions as Villa fans still wait on the appointment of a manager and a clearer idea of who might be on the board of directors. But the basic money questions appear to be sorted out.