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Aston Villa vow to defend legal action from Keith Wyness after confirming chief executive's exit

By Matt Maher | Aston Villa | Published:

Villa have vowed to defend themselves against any legal action brought by former chief executive Keith Wyness.

Keith Wyness

The 60-year-old is understood to be suing for constructive dismissal, an action which if successful could end up cost the cash-strapped club more than £6million.

In a statement formally confirming Wyness’s exit, Villa stated they will be “happy to defend” legal proceedings if called on to do so.

The statement read: “Aston Villa can confirm that Keith Wyness has now left the club.

“The club notes the media speculation relating to Keith’s departure and prospective legal proceedings.

“The club will be happy to defend legal proceedings if called on to do so and does not propose to comment further at this time.”

Wyness was initially 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.

It is understood Wyness may also launch legal action against two members of staff, chief commercial officer Luke Organ and executive assistant Rongtian He. The reasons are as yet unknown.

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Despite reaching an agreement with HMRC to stave off the immediate threat of administration, Villa's financial position remains precarious.

Senior members of the board, including Organ and Rongtian He, were due to hold a conference call with Xia on Tuesday in order to plot a course through the storm.

It is believed Xia, who has struggled to effectively fund Villa since last August, has procured enough cash to get through the next few weeks.

The exact amount, however, remains unclear, with Villa having to pay a number of bills - including another from HMRC - by the end of the month.

Despite interest from a number of groups, Xia remains determined to retain power and is seeking further investment.

Matt Maher

By Matt Maher
Football MMPJ - @mjmarr_star

Sports journalist for the Express & Star

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