Aston Villa owner and Chairman Dr Tony Xia, is fighting to keep the club out of the administrator hands after the club failed to pay a tax bill to the tune of £4m that was due last Friday, leaving the club facing an HMRC winding-up order.
Villa who finished fourth in the Championship are currently working to find a resolution, supposedly due to Dr Xia’s financial problems which are understood to be the result of cash flow issues in China, which restricts the distribution of money leaving the country.
Following last weekend’s play-off final defeat to Fulham, Dr Xia told fans the club faced significant pressure to comply with FFP regulations.
“I am an Aston Villa fan. But I am also a businessman. Under the current circumstances, I think the club needs to rethink not only the past two years but also the past 10 years. Villa needs to be a sustainable football club,” he said.
“We have been heavily investing for the past two seasons. However, the loss on Saturday means that we need to change a lot of things.”
With a huge investment in players’ wages plus more than £70m in transfers in just two seasons, the club that has been operating beyond its means and had been relying on a return to the Premier League.
On Tuesday morning crisis talks had been held by Xia and chief executive Keith Wyness, which ended with Wyness’ suspension. His departure is reportedly linked to the play-off final defeat and not the unpaid tax bill.
Villa’s statement read: “Aston Villa Football Club can confirm that chief executive, Keith Wyness, has been suspended by the club with immediate effect.
“Owner and chairman, Dr Tony Xia will assume the role until further notice.
“There will be no further comment from the club at this time.”