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27th May 2019

Aston Villa’s former owner to receive £30m payout if club secure promotion

Wayne Farry

aston villa

The proposed payout was part of the deal made by Tony Xia when he bought the club

Aston Villa face Derby County in the Championship play-off final at Wembley on Monday afternoon with a place in the Premier League on the line.

Dubbed the richest game in football, the winners of the play-off final will seem themselves catapulted into the financial stratosphere of the Premier League, but should they be promoted Villa will be obliged to release a large payout to its former owner Randy Lerner.

The proposed payment relates to Lerner’s sale of the club to Chinese billionaire Tony Xia in 2016, which included a ‘three-year promotion bonus’.

Xia’s Recon Group are said to be liable for the agreement, but it is expected that Villa’s current majority owners, Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens, will be forced to foot the majority of the bill, according to Birmingham Live.

Sawiris and Edens became majority shareholders of Villa in July 2018.

That bonus will see Lerner handed £30 million in the event that Villa defeat Derby County, and a further £10 million if they manage to avoid relegation from the Premier League next season and the season after.

The blow of this outgoing would however be massively offset by the expected £170 million in revenue that Villa would receive from getting promoted to the English top flight.

Dean Smith’s Villa side finished the Championship season fifth in the table, and eliminated fourth-placed West Bromwich Albion in the play-off semi-final to set up their second consecutive play-off final since being relegated from the Premier League for the first time in 2016.

The Villains are favourites going into the game after an incredibly impressive end to the season, but will face a tough challenge from a young and talented Derby County team led by former Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard.