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    Dr Tony Xia: 'Aston Villa not up for sale'


    Joe Jones

    Dr Tony Xia has stated that Aston Villa are not up for sale and that boss Steve Bruce retains his support amid their current financial problems.

    However, the Chinese businessman said the club must sell players to reduce costs after they missed out on promotion to the Premier League.

    Xia wants a cash injection, with Villa in need of £40m to comply with Financial Fair Play - they missed a £4m tax payment earlier this month and another is due at the end of the week.

    Documents on Companies House show Villa will allow shares to be sold and a restriction on their sale has been lifted.

    "For the avoidance of doubt, I remain a proud and committed owner of this football club and with that accept and embrace the responsibilities to the fans, players and staff," Xia said.

    "Of course, given the financial realities, it would be prudent of us to be open and receptive to any potential minority strategic investment that would aid our objectives to consolidate after a tumultuous summer and ultimately achieve our ambition of returning to the Premier League.

    "We will be very selective in any discussions to ensure that the club's best interests remain the focal point."

    Xia is acting chief executive at Villa after the dismissal of Keith Wyness, who is suing Villa for constructive dismissal.

    Villa are also due to meet with EFL chief executive Shaun Harvey soon with the league ready to offer what assistance it can.

    The future of Bruce has been widely debated since Villa's costly play-off defeat to Fulham, but Xia said: "I have had numerous conversations with Steve Bruce in recent weeks, which only reinforced how fortunate we are to have someone of his experience and standing in the game.

    "His leadership will be important for us on the field, as a club and as a community and I thank him for his loyalty."

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