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30 Jul 2018

Aston Villa FC's future secured by 'significant investment'
BY Tom Walker

Nassef Sawiris (left) and Wes Edens have previous investments in the sports industry

Nassef Sawiris (left) and Wes Edens have previous investments in the sports industry
photo: Aston Villa FC

Aston Villa FC's immediate financial future has been secured after billionaire businessmen Wes Edens and Nassef Sawiris pledged to inject "significant investment" in the club.

The extent of the Championship club's financial plight was exposed after the club failed to win promotion back to the Premier League earlier this year.

Villa, relegated from the Premier League in 2016, invested heavily in players in an attempt to secure an immediate return to the top flight.

However, it was beaten by Fulham in May's play-off final at Wembley Stadium. The defeat meant Villa missed out on promotion that would have been worth an estimated £160m in broadcasting deals and other income.

The club then missed a £4m tax payment in June, before reaching an agreement with HMRC over the payment.

In a statement, the club said: "NSWE, a company that is jointly owned and controlled by businessman Nassef Sawiris’ group NNS and businessman Wes Edens, will immediately inject significant investment capital into the club.

"The capital injection and transaction have been approved by the English Football League and the parties will work through all confirmatory approvals required by the EFL as soon as possible."

Following the investment, current owner, Chinese businessman Tony Xia, will become co-chair – but will remain on the board.

"I am extremely pleased to have formed a strategic partnership with Nassef and Wes," Xia said.

"We have a common goal of delivering future success for Aston Villa and I look forward to working together to achieve this aim."

Sawiri's NNS group is a significant shareholder in German sportswear giant adidas and Nassef has been on the board of adidas AG since 2016.

Wes Edens became co-owner of the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks basketball franchise in 2014.



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