SBD/April 21, 2014/Franchises

Aston Villa's Lerner Says He Will Not Address Sale Rumors Until End Of EPL Season

Lerner has invested more than $420M in Villa since taking over in '06
EPL club Aston Villa Owner Randy Lerner last night "added to the confusion surrounding his long-term future" as steward of the franchise "after insisting that he will not address mounting speculation over a possible takeover of the Midlands club until the end of the season," according to Brendan McLoughlin of the LONDON TIMES. Rumors "have recently been circulating that at least one American consortium is interested" in a $336M (all figures U.S.) deal with Lerner, who bought Villa in '06 for $105.2M and has since invested more than $420M. Lerner in a statement said, "As regards my personal role at the club and the steady rumours of a sale, I will address these after the season." The team’s holding company lost a record $91M in '11 and "although significant sums have been spent since, there has been a gradual scaling back" (LONDON TIMES, 4/21). The GUARDIAN's Stuart James cites sources as saying that Lerner as of last week "was poised to sell." It "is also understood" that Villa manager Paul Lambert "has been told that he must prepare to work with new owners." Although club officials recently insisted that there "was no truth to suggestions Lerner was looking to get out, the man in control of that decision declined the chance to go on the record with that view" (GUARDIAN, 4/21).

WHY WAIT? In London, Dan Lucas writes Villa fans "must be wondering" why Lerner "would bother to wait" to address the sale rumors. Lerner presumably "does not wish to distract the team from... what, exactly?" The club has "only won twice since the end of January." A "quick glance at recent historical Premier League tables show that Villa have declined in stature quite miserably over the past decade, much of which was under Lerner's tenure." With four games left in the EPL season, "perhaps this time the chairman could give his fans something -- anything -- to care about at the close of the season" (London TELEGRAPH, 4/21).
Return to top
Video Powered By - Castfire CMS Powered By - Sitecore

Report a Bug