Villa Park sold to club owners in £56.7million deal
Villa Park has been sold in a £56.7million deal to club owners Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens, it can be revealed.
Documents filed with the Land Registry confirm the famous 123-year-old ground is now owned by NSWE Stadium Ltd, a company controlled by the billionaire duo.
They paid £56.7million on May 21 as part of a deal most likely designed to ensure Villa complied with the EFL’s profit and sustainability rules.
Sawiris and Edens are credited with saving Villa from financial doom when they became majority shareholders last July.
Fortunes have also picked up on the pitch, after the club won promotion back to the Premier League through the play-offs last month.
But the latest development will concern supporters, with Villa appearing to no longer having ownership of the ground they have called home since 1896.
Formerly a dormant shell company, NSWE Stadium Ltd was renamed from Aston Villa Ltd in March, with Sawiris and Edens installed as directors.
It is not clear, at this stage, whether the company remains within the group of companies controlled by the club.
The deal has similarities with that done by Derby, who sold their Pride Park Stadium to owner Mel Morris in order to comply with P&S rules, which allow Championship clubs to lose a maximum of £39million over the course of three seasons.
It proved a controversial move, with Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson claiming the Rams had exploited a loophole in the regulations.
Villa are expected to be compliant with the rules, with chief executive Christian Purslow telling supporters earlier this month the EFL had approved the club’s accounts for the 2018-19 campaign.
When quizzed about the possibility of a stadium sale during the same fan consultation group meeting, Purslow stated there were no plans to sell Villa Park to a third party.
But he stated the club’s assets, including Villa Park, remained under the ownership of companies controlled by Sawiris and Edens.