U.S.-educated Chinese businessman Xia Jiantong will become the owner of English football team Aston Villa, demoted this season from the English Premiership to the second-tier championship league, on a 60 million pounds deal, the club confirmed on its website Wednesday evening.
It followed day long speculation that the club had been sold to a Chinese consortium.
Xia Jiantong will become Aston Villa’s new chairman after the Rui Kang Group bought the club in a deal brokered in China.
The club says Xia is the Chairman/CEO and owner of Recon Group. He was amongst the initial 25 highly rated graduates out of 1,000 inviting back by Chinese government after spending six years at Harvard and MIT including five months exchange with Oxford University.
Xia, the club adds, played football as a striker until he finished at college and football has remained his passion.
“Dr. Xia decided to buy an iconic football club in England as the cornerstone of his Sports, Leisure and Tourism Division. He became a fan of Aston Villa many years ago and is delighted at the opportunity to become the new owner.
“Dr. Xia’s immediate objective is to return Aston Villa to the Premier League and then to have the club finish in the top six, bringing European football back to Villa Park. He plans to make Aston Villa the most famous football Club in China with a huge fan base.”