Supporters' Trust call on crisis-stricken Aston Villa to provide "meaningful update" on cash woes
Worried supporters have urged Villa to provide a detailed update as the scale of the club’s financial problems continues to emerge.
The Aston Villa Supporters’ Trust has called on owner Tony Xia to provide a “meaningful update” after a week in which the club has been threatened with a winding-up order by HMRC, after missing a tax payment.
Xia is understood to have secured a loan which satisfies the tax office’s demands and staves off the immediate threat of administration.
But the Trust, in the second statement it has released this week, now wants greater clarity on how the owner plans to tackle the cash crisis moving forward.
Villa are in disarray, with chief executive Keith Wyness suspended earlier this week after clashing with Xia over the best way to handle the financial meltdown.
It is understood Xia, who has bankrolled Villa since purchasing them from Randy Lerner two years ago, has been unable to effectively finance the club for at least three months.
Matters were brought to a head by Villa’s defeat to Fulham in last month’s play-off final, which consigned them to a third season in the Championship.
The Trust statement read: “When Keith Wyness spoke at our AGM just a few months ago he spoke of a plan being in place in the event that we were not promoted back to the Premier League.
“I am guessing that plan didn’t involve being belittled by our own ineptitude, him being put on the naughty step and us looking down the barrel of Administration.
“We don’t know how bad the situation is or who is to blame. What we do know is that conjecture and rumour are rampant on social media. We also know that our members are worried and are hurting at some of the things flying about this week.
“We can assure them that we are in contact with the club and have made a number of suggestions as to how we may be able to assist in steering the ship through these troubled waters. Our efforts will continue.
“But, with this in mind, we implore AVFC to immediately give our supporters a meaningful update on the current situation.
“We appreciate that there might be huge concerns that are being worked on around the clock at the moment but we need to know where we stand. We can assure our members that as soon as we know what is happening we will share it with you.”
The Express & Star understands a group of wealthy Villa supporters has approached Xia with the offer of financial support.
The group has requested to see Villa’s accounts and might even consider a takeover bid.
At least two other consortia are interested in Villa, including one from the USA.