Former chief executive Keith Wyness launches legal action against Aston Villa
Villa’s summer from hell has taken another twist after former chief executive Keith Wyness launched legal action which could cost the club more than £6million.
Wyness, who was initially suspended from his role last week, is understood to be suing Villa on the grounds of constructive dismissal.
The 60-year-old is now thought to have officially left the club and relinquished his role as a director.
It is understood action may also be taken against two members of staff, chief commercial officer Luke Organ and executive assistant Rongtian He.
Wyness was suspended from his role last Tuesday, on the same day it emerged Villa were being threatened with a winding-up order from HMRC over an unpaid tax bill.
The Express & Star understands Wyness had clashed with owner Tony Xia over the best way to deal with a financial crisis brought to a head by the club’s failure to win promotion to the Premier League.
Despite reaching an agreement with HMRC last week, Villa remain deep in a cash crisis, the route cause of which has been Xia’s struggle to effectively fund the club.
It is understood the Beijing-based businessman had failed to regularly provide cash for the best part of a year, with the missed tax payment prompting Wyness to seek advice from insolvency practitioners.
News of his intended legal action emerged as the remaining members of Villa’s board are due to meet in order to discuss their strategy for the rest of the summer.
Both Rongtian He and Organ, together with technical director Steve Round and director Tracy Gu, are set to be present on a conference call with Xia.
The owner is expected to sanction significant cuts to Villa’s player budget and wage bill.
It is thought an interim replacement for Wyness, who was appointed following Xia's £76.2million takeover in 2016, may also be chosen in due course.