Aston Villa Statement Confirms Chinese Buyout and New Owner’s Ambition

MOMS has already written some views about the Chinese takeover of Aston Villa, but now the club have now issued a full statement (see below) confirming that there are just the formalities of the ‘Fit and proper’ person’s test to be done on the new owners. Considering that the Chinese government are potentially standing behind the curtain of this takeover, it shouldn’t be much of a problem!

I’m not too sure about the genuineness/strength of some of the claims in the statement to no doubt appease supporters, namely the claim that new owner Dr Tony Xia, “became a fan of Aston Villa many years ago”. Much more interesting is the words towards the end of the statement “to make Aston Villa the most famous football Club in China with a huge fan base” and return Villa to European football nights.

Ambition is the biggest and best ingredient we need at the club.

As MOMS stated in our article on why the Chinese are interested in Aston Villa, the Chinese president will more than likely have something to do with this buyout or at least be encouraging it.

Buckle up, it’s about to get interesting.


chinese buyer aston villaAston Villa Statement


Aston Villa Football Club is pleased to announce that an agreement has been signed today for the sale of 100% 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. Once those approvals have been granted and the new board members approved under the fit & proper rules of both leagues, Dr Xia will become Chairman of Aston Villa. The Club will announce the appointment of a new manager shortly.

Randy Lerner has sought the right new owner for Aston Villa who would take great care of the Club and restore its fortunes. He believes that Tony Xia is an excellent choice.

Recon Group is Dr Xia’s privately owned holding company that owns the controlling interest in five publicly listed companies on the Hong Kong and Chinese stock exchanges and many other private companies employing 35,000 people in 75 countries.

Dr Xia played football as a striker until he finished at college and football has remained his passion. Dr Xia decided to buy an iconic football Club in England as the cornerstone of his Sports, Leisure and Tourism Division. He became a fan of Aston Villa many years ago and is delighted at the opportunity to become the new owner.

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.


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  1. Hahaha.. So I am glad Lerner is gone, but in a final twist IMHO he has failed again. Chinese government ownership. Serious people think this is a good thing? Try China + Human Rights in Google.. Hahaha… Not really world leaders there. I expect to get flamed for this, but when’s the last time you thought of your great grand grandfather, Dr Tony thought of his more recently. No doubt this is for Dr Tony and Recon Group and they will make the best effort to succeed. But it isn’t comforting for me personally. Recon Group, sounds like an Army squad even.

    • Good article in the Guardian online from Dr. T. He is saying the right things, though maybe too much. I have reservations, no doubt. But it would be nice to see the old Villa back, playing football, winning.

  2. First I want to congratulate MOMS for its engaging qualities of all things Villa – Thank you. Second, Inklings of a Xia Takover was over a month ago, So did a bit of checking out the consortium as much as we can know for UK eyes only so to speak. There will be a genuine ambition for China to push forward its agenda to become a major force in world cup football. There will be an interesting football evolution as well as revolution over the next 10 years. Asia is fast increasing in catching up with the rest of the footballing world and yes there is an undercurrent of “betting” scandals attached to the culture. Oh boy do those Chinese love to gamble. The BIG picture is simplistic as well as all the potential spin offs of all things Villa commercially especially with such a major market as China, this will be exceptionally good news for Villa fans and its staff. This guy is bright as a button he is smart. He will be pumping money into the Villa from the off. He has got an exceptional price for his 100 per cent influence. The club now have to get all the right footballing heads in all the right slots. Square pegs in square holes. This is a tremendous opportunity to reverse the rapid decline. Im not saying Villa will return in the first season but by the Grace of God the slump can stop. Winning ways can return and the feel good factor and fortress Villa can be reset to its historic glory days. Optimism can paste over the cracks of scepticism. Regardless of Manager, the first changes must be the players. There was clearly a split in the dressing room and a failure culture. We know who the culprits are, there should be no mercy for those who have spoilt it all for those who have lost their jobs for the suffering fans at Villa Park and all the armchair fans nationally and around the world. Those players MUST go. Paid off if necessary. It will take guile tactical expertise and someone with a strong personality to get a squad fit and hungry and proud to wear the Claret and Blue shirt. Its a blessing in disguise as long as AVFC respond accordingly and with purpose with flare with confidence and with grace. Two years to get us back in full swing should be time to keep Dr Xia interested and keen to make a difference still. Thank Hollis and Lerner when you see the new shape of Villa from its infrastructure to the players on the pitch. This could be happy days ahead. Lets see what the summer brings, I reckon a flurry on new staff and new players that will roll their sleeves up and earn their very privileged wage. Lets give an almighty warm welcome to Dr Xia – Xiàngshàng qǐ !!!! (Upwards and onwards)

  3. We can only speculate for now on how this will work out but the potential of this deal is massive, if this guy is serious about the scale of the plans for the club, turning us into the biggest club in China, then we are going to go through a full scale transformation over the next few years. The Chinese government are striving to turn the country into a football superpower, they want to win a world cup by 2030 and are looking at hosting it soon, their goal is to have very kid playing football. One way is to increase the strength of the domestic league which is fast becoming super rich, the other is through ownership of a foreign club to get everyone following them. You only have to look at Leicester’s impact in Thailand, however the market in China is on another scale altogether. We are the first big team, in England anyway, to become 100% Chinese owned. Of all the clubs going, they chose us to be their flagship club in England. This guy has basically unlimited resources and is being backed by the Chinese government too! It is hard to get carried away as a Villa fan, especially after all the torture we’ve had to endure over the last few seasons, and I am not suggesting that this will all work out for the better, a lot may hinder on how quickly we achieve promotion. If this doesn’t happen within a year or two they may lose interest and move on, and we may well end up in an even worse position than before. But on the face of this we may have just landed on a goldmine.

  4. Well I remember well when deadly crossed the city and got rid of Norman sell. Ytommy doc as manager. The new exciting era. Well we got relegated to the third division. However, we developed into European champions. So next season will be a real test with crap uncommitted players on salaries that will make it impossible to get rid of em. But, when we settle down we will be a force and im sure premiership return will be inevitable with a new owner. I am excited. I have hardly been down for 3 seasons. But may get a season ticket if I see ambition. Come you lions we can roar again under this well educated and ambitious man. Good luck tony

  5. All sounds good but I am more interested in this from Randy’s farewell
    “Tony’s excitement to develop Villa Park shone through. I remain convinced that this is a crucial part of the Club’s future as it provides a critical, long-term second source of revenue and therefore sustainability for the Club from which squad-funding can potentially come. ”

    So what changes are we about to see happen @ Villa Park ? A new North stand ? Or far more ?

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