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SBD Global/July 8, 2014/Franchises

Aston Villa Owner Delays Sale Of Team To Focus On Upcoming Premier League Season

Aston Villa finished dangerously close to the relegation zone last year.
EPL side Aston Villa Owner Randy Lerner "delayed the sale" of the club "to concentrate on the season," according to Mason Levinson of BLOOMBERG. Lerner, who in May disclosed his intention to sell the team following a 15th-place finish, said in a statement that when he announced the sale plans he told team Manager Paul Lambert that "he would completely focus on the season if no agreement was reached by the time players and coaches returned for training." Lerner said, “While the sale process has been productive and remains ongoing, my priority at this point in the summer, heading into the upcoming season, is that the Villa organization’s sole focus be football -- undistracted by any sales process.” Villa begins Premier League play Aug. 16 at Stoke City (BLOOMBERG, 7/7). REUTERS' Keith Weir reported the asking price for Villa is in the region of £150-£200M ($257-$343M) and is "a test of investor appetite for middle-ranking Premier League teams." Villa finished 15th in the Premier League last season, "dangerously close to the relegation zone." They have hired former ManU midfielder Roy Keane to work as assistant to Lambert and fans "will be looking for signings to bolster the playing squad' (REUTERS, 7/7).
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