Firstly, I would like to thank you for your patience during what has been an uncertain period on and off the pitch for the club. Losing out on promotion to the Premier League was a disappointment to us all – not least you, the fans, whose support took us to the brink of promotion.
I would like to apologise for the lack of communication in recent weeks. This has been largely as a consequence of the many business decisions that have been required to be taken as the implications of losing the play-off final become a reality that we must face.
I am now in a position to provide a comprehensive update on the club’s situation in the hope that we can continue our preparation for the season ahead with renewed focus and determination.
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.
In recent weeks there have been changes at senior management level and these changes have been made with the intention of establishing a focused, calculated approach.
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.
Having assumed the role of acting CEO, I have been working closely with the senior management team to improve efficiency and effectiveness. A more measured approach will enable us to overcome the implications of Financial Fair Play after two years of significant investment in the football department. We need to generate sufficient revenue to ensure the smooth-running of the club without compromising the standards of this great institution.
With that comes a reality check over performance and expectation for the season ahead but also the opportunity to work smartly in the transfer market, bring through young talent and draw on the experience of our manager.
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.
These qualities will be essential as we begin a new season with the fresh hope and expectation it inevitably brings. While we would never want to compromise our ambitions, we must however be prepared to do so in a measured and realistic manner, hence the necessary business decisions I have outlined.
Lastly, I am aware that there are a number of stories being written about the club and to be definitive I would like it to be known that:
1. I have not put the club up for sale
2. I would consider minority investment stakes that bring strategic value to the club to help us achieve our goals but this will be considered extremely carefully
3. I have not received an offer of 51%
4. I have received an offer of 30% but we did not believe there was strategic value and we did not know the source of the money
5. We have been approached numerous times and we have turned away numerous approaches
6. FFP is a burden and we need to work within the defined parameters over the course of the next 12 months and beyond and as we have done in the previous 12 months
7. To be clear, to meet FFP we need to player trade. No shareholding sale of any size will contribute to meeting FFP. We must reduce costs and increase revenue
8. Selling any size of shareholding in the club will not aid in respect to FFP
9. Steve Bruce remains in charge with my support
10. There is significant football experience within our playing department and our football administration team who will be supported by the club admin team
11. I have made significant investments into the club and all loans provided up to 31st May have now been converted into equity as part of the club’s compliance with FFP rules
12. We are bank loan free but continue to evaluate opportunities to create sensible solutions with regards to financing as is common in most business practises
13. The EFL have shown no concern over the ‘lack of football experience within the club’
14. Work continues at pace at the Recon Training Complex as a result of the HS2 project
15. Work continues on the pitch at Villa Park and is on schedule
I would like to once again thank you for all your support.
Dr Tony Xia
At least it says something. On the whole I take it as positive. BUT, what worries me are the omissions.
There's nothing at all about the cash flow crisis. Nothing about how it arose, and whether it has been solved. That's the biggy to me. Still worried.
I think reading between the lines, we will be OK, not major transfers in. Might lose Grealish..
We should do all we can to keep Chester, Grealish and Kodjia. if we want to challenge next season.
Sorry lads, but as I predicted Bruce is going nowhere in the short term.
Come on England!!
There's that one big worry. Is there a another financial crisis just around the corner?
If not, yep think we'll be OK. Sounds like Bruce will have most of the say in who leaves or who goes. Possible he's been given the financial parameters to meet and he can just operate within those.
So maybe he'll find a way of keeping Jack. Whatever, I'm dead certain he won't want to lose Chester. Last season was built on a very good defence; we just Elphick replacing Terry and given the overall experience of working together then we've a good chance of keeping it that way. It does need Steer or a new GK to step up though. Lose Chester and we have little chance of replacing him with similar quality.
If he can sell McCormack, De Laet, and maybe Lansbury and Hogan then that could generate much needed funds, through losing the wages as much as in transfer fees.
Nothing this man says fills me with any sorts of optimism.
As far as I'm concerned the man has been a con artist from the day he arrived.
The line regards us being at a level to rival Barcelona sucked many of our younger fans in but I'm sure us older fans saw right through him.
Keep reading how he has spent a fortune on us.
Again like the man BS.
It was all parashoot money .
The figures from him never add up.
He got us into this mess but you can guarantee he will walk away and leave us up Ships creek with out a second thought.
God help us in 3 months when all the sold players cash has gone.
We will be at the end come then, at the.mercy of the vulchers to make an example of us.
All involved from him to the FA have shafted us.
The mans a liar and a fraud.
Even his other companies have more questions than answers regards the truth of what the man owns.
It's not all parachute money. Don't know where you're getting your figures from if you've got any figures, but in 2016-2017 Xia put £57m into the club in the form of equity. That's a lot.
Isn't that the year he got his hands on us?
Equity? What was that then, shares in Rekon or is that another Con?
Loved to know where your facts are coming from McC.
Sponsored the Training Ground so he could get his hands on the rail line going through it compo.
£57 MY ARSE.Just don't see how a man more secret and shady could of got his hands on us.
He has always been in it for the ego trip.To show he is a big I am in his home land who have a craving for English football.
I'm no fan of Xia or what's happening to the club. But the figure of £57m is in the Villa accounts for 2016-2017 lodged with Companies House in February 2018. Equity is handing over real money to the club; you get notional shares in exchange. If a club owner loans his club money then it's a way of wiping off the debt. Randy converted all his loans to the club to equity before he sold it. If there was more than one investor in the club then someone putting in equity gets a larger share of the club in exchange; as Xia is sole owner it doesn't actually affect his position.
Also, regarding FFP, the allowed loss in the Championship is £13m per year, for years actually in the Championship (it's assessed over a 3 year period, if any of those years were in the PL then the allowed loss is £35m for those years). However, that only applies if the owner puts enough equity into the club to cover the loss; if he doesn't the limit drops from £13m to £5m. So this year Xia must have put enough equity into the club to cover whatever loss we made.
He has put real money into the club, a lot. BUT, his source of funds, whatever it was, appears to have run out. Hence we're in trouble. Why he's run out nobody has the faintest. My guess is it'll become clear sooner rather than later, especially if he can't find other investors. Someone somewhere has made a massive miscalculation or taken a huge risk; Xia has to be very much part of that. Wonder where Wyness and Round come in.
All (or most) club owners are in it for the ego trip.
One other thing. Bruce has said that meeting FFP is paramount and it's highly likely we'll have to sell Jack. The figure of £40m to find has been mentioned; for FFP that has to be from the operations side, which is why the owner or anybody else can't simply put that amount into the club to cover it.
I have a huge amount of trouble believing we're £40m short of meeting FFP. We've managed to meet FFP on each of the last two years, just. So how has this £40m hole suddenly appeared. I know we're £20m short in income due to reduction in size of the parachute payments, but we've already clawed back a decent amount by the loanees and players like Gabby leaving. For £40m to appear then there appears to have been some extraordinary financial transactions to have taken place.
Whatever, there's a massive mess.
I stand corrected Mc.
Just can't get my head around what this fool has done or doing to our club.
Agree regards the £40 plus million from FFP. How is it that much as we have slashed spending to as much as a club like blues for over 2 almost 3 transfer wdws.
No way is jack going for £25 million let alone £ 35 million.
Worked out wherethe £40m comes from. As well as the £20m down on income from the reduction in parachute payments, there's £22m reduction in the 3-year FFP limit due to the £35m limit for the last PL year being replaced by a £13m limit.
However, we've gained over £10m with just Terry, Gabby and the loanees leaving. £30m to find.
The sick thing is we'll have the same constraints next year. And no Jack to sell. We need to get as many youngsters as possible up to speed this year.
no the real sad thing is that we have McCormack, Richards earning big bucks for sweet FA, plus based on last years record we also have Hogan not playing also on big bucks but worst of all we have the bloke that put us in shite street still at the club.
Nail on head JD. We can't survive with an owner who has no money. We have to get money into the club from somewhere. We can't make us of the allowed £13m pa FFP loss, if we have no money to fund that loss.
We have an owner who has no money but seems determined not to sell. There is nobody running the club who has the faintest idea of running a football club. We have a manager who we have no choice but to keep but who is hardly one to inspire a squad who desperately need inspiring. We're in limbo until either Xia's forced to sell or we go bust.