Tony Xia has been exposed as a rather inept, inexperienced and naive owner of a football club amidst Aston Villa’s current financial situation being reported in the mainstream press this week.
Since his purchase of the old lady of English football, Xia has proven that his knowledge of football, and football business is lacking – shown through a number of things, such as paying a huge amount of wages for average footballers and older players looking for a final pay day before they retire or reach the lower echelons of the footballing pyramid.
Tony Xia has surrounded himself with people like Keith Wyness, who has now been suspended by the owner, amidst rumours that he was touting the club to potential purchasers. Whether his reasoning for this had the club’s best interest at heart or not will come to light, but in the current climate, all it does is add fuel to fire raging behind the scenes at Villa Park at the moment.
One of the main reasons behind the current issues surrounding the club and it’s existence within English football is that Villa have not been able to pay a tax bill, have taken out a number of loans and as a result of this exposed themselves to football fans as to how dire the situation at the club is.
It has been reported that Dr. Tony Xia is struggling to get money out of China to pay various expenses since the country’s economic reform to try and stabilise their economy – and these issues are shared by the likes of Italian fallen giants A.C Milan. However, it doesn’t explain how the Chinese owners of rivals West Bromwich Albion, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Birmingham City aren’t also struggling with this. Granted, Wolves have received a chunk of money for actually achieving where Villa failed after their gamble, and West Bromwich will have parachute payments and more.
But taking a look at Wolves, their owner has moved to Wolverhampton (or at least purchased property there) and probably moved his money, or a large chunk of it with him. That’s dedication to a football club, and whilst it’s early on in Fosun’s ownership of the Wanderers, Jeff Shi seems to have his head screwed on, and has surrounded himself with the right people rather than the wrong. Tony Xia has got some decent footballing people into the club with the likes of Steve Round, but in reality has spent much of his tenure as owner in China, leaving people like Keith Wyness to run his club and poor Rongtian He, his assistant, to deal with issues that Xia can’t whilst out of the country.
It seems as if Tony Xia has purchased a football club and thought he could provide a quick cash injection to attempt to rise back to the upper echelons – and now it has failed, it’s showing how naive the business man really is in the world of football.
From here, it’s uncertain where Aston Villa, or even Tony Xia will end up – but the reality of it is that this has all the makings of another club being tarnished due to poor ownership and mismanagement. Hopefully the club, or Xia, will come forward with an explanation and more information in due course.