The Birmingham Mail have today revealed that Aston Villa owner Tony Xia has rejected a 51% offer from a European bidder, but they claim that Xia remains in takeover talks with two other interested parties.
After a frantic start to the month of June, news has slowed on the financial front at Villa Park. The club themselves have been virtually silent for the past week or so. It is often said in life that, in troublesome situations, no news is good news, but that is rarely the case in football. The lack of communication (which has been in stark contrast with the apparent openness of Xia’s overall tenure) has left Villa supporters disgruntled.
But things seem to be moving a bit quicker again. The recent filing on Companies House ‘hinted’ that a major investor is close and now there is the news of a concrete offer.
Xia was initially looking for minority offers as he appeared to be desperate to hold on to control of the club which he has, on numerous occasions, openly, and probably truly, expressed his passion for. Yet this has proven difficult and the Birmingham Mail now believe that he is listening to offers of 51% and above. Thus, the interested parties are considering offers for control or outright purchase. It is unclear what Xia would be prepared to accept – the rejected offer would have amounted to £40 million of investment, so presumably a sum in excess of that.
Amidst all the uncertainty, Steve Bruce and the players return for pre-season training before long, while transfer rumours concerning both potential targets and Villa’s own stars continue to circulate. Yet, for these things to operate smoothly, this financial crisis needs to be sorted.
The ins and outs of the Companies House filing and everything else are difficult for the average fan to fully understand (myself included) but it seems that the bottom line is this: There could be a change in ownership, in some form, very soon.