Stories emerging today from the Birmingham Mail and The Express & Star have detailed that Aston Villa owner, Dr Tony Xia, has turned down investment and funding from ‘an American group’ as takeover rumours continue to grow.
The story from the Mail ‘reveals’ that Xia refused to accept an offer of £30 million for a thirty percent stake in the club. This would represent a fee of £1 million for one percent, a better deal for Xia than the one he turned down last week, a rumoured £41 million for a fifty-one percent stake, which is about £800,000 for one percent of the club.
Reports suggest that the latest offer, the £30 million investment, was the exact offer that Xia was looking for, which begs the question: Why didn’t he take the deal?
Everything that we’ve heard about a potential takeover, up until this point have been rumours. We’ve got two nebulous groups from two different continents that have offered different deals for Villa. In effect, we’re in the dark - almost everyone is in the dark. However, there are things we know - Xia, since Villa were knocked out of the play-offs in the final against Fulham, has struggled to securely fund the day-to-day running of the club. A tax bill was left unpaid (although there could be various reasons for this), Villa have failed to make any signings - or more importantly - any sales. With the EFL transfer window shutting in just five weeks, time is running out for Xia to lay the foundations so that Villa can actually plan to play football within a month. Even if Villa’s money troubles have more of a bark than a bite, we do know now that Tony Xia has been censured by the Shanghai Stock Exchange - which will make it infinitely more difficult for him to attract investment from his home country.
It’s very important to keep an open mind about all of this, and remember than nothing will happen, until it happens. Question everything.