Aston Villa axe former owner Tony Xia from boardroom over £30m bonus dispute

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TONY XIA is no longer part of Aston Villa after failing to stump up a £30million bonus for the club’s promotion.

The Chinese businessman’s predecessor at the helm, the unpopular Randy Lerner, was owed the money as part of the deal when the club changed hands in 2016.

Xia is said to be worth around £1billion
Getty – Contributor

When paying £76m for Villa upon their relegation to the Championship, Xia became chairman with a tendency to be incredibly vocal on social media.

However the sums soon began to not add up, leaving the club in a dire financial state after they failed to bounce back to the Premier League at the first attempt.

Administration was looming when NSWE, a company headed by the world’s fourth-richest African Nassef Sawiris and American private equity investor Wes Edens, bought a 55 percent stake in 2018.

That deal demoted Xia to co-chairman and minority shareholder as the new management ushered in their own bosses, including new CEO Christian Purslow.

And the club took responsibility for the £30m owed to Lerner once Villa beat Derby in May’s play-off final.

The fact Xia couldn’t personally provide the funds has, according to reports, been behind his recent removal from the club.

Edens (left) and Sawiris (right) are credited with the team’s reinvigoration
Getty Images – Getty


Companies House documents show his remaining share, gradually reducing over the past year, are now entirely in NSWE’s hands with his boardroom role now stripped.

In 2018, the 42-year-old was said to be worth £1billion but the West Midlands outfit lost around £50m in his two years as owner.

His plans included making Villa a force in European football with a redevelopment mooted in April of last year to bring their stadium capacity up to 60,000.

Dean Smith’s men opened the scoring but fell to a 3-1 defeat at Tottenham on their return to the Premier League yesterday.

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