Chinese businessman agrees to buy Villa

May 18, 2016 - 6:58 PM English soccer team Aston Villa says Chinese businessman Tony Xia has agreed to buy the newly relegated club.

Villa's American owner Randy Lerner, who put the club on the market in 2014, struck a deal, which is reported to be worth STG60 million ($A118.4 million), following their relegation from the Premier League last month.

"Aston Villa Football Club is pleased to announce that an agreement has been signed today for the sale of 100 per cent ownership by Randy Lerner to Recon Group owned by Dr Tony Jiantong Xia subject to the approval of the Premier League and the Football League," a club statement said.

"Dr Xia's immediate objective is to return Aston Villa to the Premier League and then to have the club finish in the top six, bringing European football back to Villa Park.

"He plans to make Aston Villa the most famous football Club in China with a huge fan base."

Xia's purchase ends an unhappy tenure for Lerner, who bought the midlands club for STG62.2 million in 2006.

Fans openly demonstrated against his continued involvement with Villa who were European champions in 1982 and have won the English top-flight title seven times.

The statement said Lerner had been keen to sell to the right owner, adding that the American believed Xia was "an excellent choice" who had become a fan of the club many years ago.

Recon Group is Xia's privately-owned holding company which owns a controlling interest in five publicly listed companies on the Hong Kong and Chinese stock exchanges.

Source: AAP

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