LONDON: Aston Villa’s American owner Randy Lerner intends to sell the club, he said yesterday.
Lerner took control of the English Premier League side in 2006 after a £62.6m takeover ($105.7m) that saw him buy out the Birmingham team’s longstanding former owner, Doug Ellis.
“I owe it to Villa to move on, and look for fresh, invigorated leadership, if in my heart I feel I can no longer do the job,” Lerner said in a statement. Villa struggled in the 2013-14 season, finishing 15th in the Premier League, just five points above the relegation places.
The announcement from Lerner was widely expected after he said last month he would address speculation about his future after the end of the season.
“Several weeks back I said that following the end of the season I would clarify my future role with the club, and address what had become seemingly constant rumours of a sale,” Lerner added Monday after a season that finished with Sunday’s disappointing 3-0 loss away to Tottenham Hotspur. “I have come to know well that fates are fickle in the business of English football. And I feel that I have pushed mine well past the limit.”
Lerner took over at Villa Park promising to make the 1982 European Cup winners, long regarded as a ‘sleeping giant’ of the English game, a force once more. REUTERS