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Tony Xia leaves Aston Villa with former owner's remaining shareholding wiped out

By Matt Maher | Aston Villa | Published:

Tony Xia’s three-year association with Villa is over with the former owner having formally left the club.

Tony Xia

Xia remained a minority shareholder and vice-chairman following last summer’s takeover by billionaire duo Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens.

But documents filed at Companies House confirm his directorship has now been terminated, while he has also lost his position on the club’s board.

Xia bought Villa for £76.2million from American Randy Lerner, following the club’s relegation from the Premier League in May, 2016.

Yet after spending big on two failed attempts to win promotion, the club ran into financial difficulty in the summer of 2018, with Xia struggling to effectively fund it.

Villa were threatened with a winding-up order after missing a tax payment and looked destined for administration before Sawiris and Edens arrived at the 11th hour to bail them out.

The pair invested £30million for 55 per cent of Xia’s shareholding and pumped further millions in over the course of the season.

Though Xia retained 45 per cent, his failure to match the investment of Sawiris and Edens saw his shareholding slowly diminish.

It dipped below final 25 per cent in January, while Xia’s final departure is understood to be due to his failure to meet certain criteria, laid out in the takeover agreement.

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Sawiris and Edens stepped in to pay a £30million debt owed to Lerner following the club's promotion back to the Premier League, in exchange for the remainder of Xia's shares.

The Express & Star understands Xia's shareholding had also further been reduced after he failed to pay back a substantial loan he received from the new owners as part of last summer's takeover.

Documents at Companies House show his remaining shareholding has now been transferred to Sawiris and Edens.

Matt Maher

By Matt Maher
Football MMPJ - @mjmarr_star

Sports journalist for the Express & Star

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