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It's time to stop questioning Tony Xia's legitimacy

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TONY XIA

Tony Xia has been the official owner of Aston Villa for a while now. A manager has been appointed, three solid players have been signed with presumably more to come and Xia has showcased a new hands-off approach which is in stark contrast to Villa's previous owner, the reclusive Randy Lerner.

Xia has preferred to set up new relations and invest in the clubs future rather than get involved with the playing staff. That should be applauded.

However Xia is still in the sights of various media outlets and a fair few Aston Villa fans.

It's probably worth getting one thing straight. As much as we refuse to believe it, we are customers of the football club. We don't like being called by that moniker, but we pay the club for the recreational services it provides.

Aston Villa are Xia’s business, Xia’s company and property of Xia. The illusion is that Villa are a public object. Unfortunately, public objects aren’t traded on Companies House.

It’s quite a romantic illusion to have. But the reality is that Aston Villa are a business. That’s why Xia’s legal, rubber-stamped takeover of a company is a preposterous thing to be upset about.

Xia’s involvement with Jamie Banfill and Chris Samuelson has drawn many doubters and critics to cast shade in the Chinese businessman’s direction - but there’s little solid evidence that either have done major harm. They’re just dodgy. Xia’s position should not be placed in doubt because of the company surrounding him and it’s likely that Samuelson and Banfill are just another pair of old, rich white sharks looking to get a piece of the Aston Villa pie. I frown upon that behaviour, but there’s nothing wrong about it. That’s the 21st century.

Xia’s grasp of the English language has also come under scrutiny. To those who would choose this a point of attack, I’d advise them to reference basic studies in linguistics. English is an evolution of ‘Anglic’ language, which branches off from Anglo-Frisian (the similarities between German, Dutch-Frisian and English words or simply put Kerk = Tsjerke = Church - these words sound almost identical and mean the same thing) and Anglo-Frisian has it’s roots in Germanic language (Scots, Norse etc). Germanic falls under the Indo-European family of languages.

Mandarin and Cantonese are an absolute world away from English. They aren’t built upon the same foundations. English people will likely have success learning Dutch, German, Danish and Scandinavian languages because they share roots. To learn Mandarin as an Englishman, you need to chuck away the entire foundation of everything you know about speech and start again. This is not easy and works both ways. To doubt Xia’s credentials and intelligence because of his grasp of language shows an almost horrifying lack of acceptance and borders itself on a sort of elitism. English is a tremendously difficult language to learn. Education in subjects like business and architecture are stable and secure in comparision to the fluid nature of world languages.

The painful truth of it all is this: Doubt in Xia is pretty much based in the fact he’s Chinese. Let’s not beat around the bush. Xia’s not got the ‘dodgy history’ of people like Samuelson. In fact, all Xia has done so far has been tremendously positive about the future of the club as well as show an honest and open approach. We like to think we live in a world where people are innocent until proven guilty. There’s no evidence that Xia is a bad character, at all. It’s ok to be curious, but in a year which has given the world so much pain, let’s live in hope, curiosity and optimism instead of panic and fear. There’s a word for the fear of others because of where they are from and how little you know about them. Look it up.