ASTON VILLA paid ex-owner Randy Lerner a whopping £10million last year as part of Tony Xia’s 2016 disastrous takeover of the club.
Xia agreed to pay the American tycoon the cash if Villa remained in the Premier League for three seasons after winning promotion.
And although Xia sold Villa to current billionaire owners Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens’ NSWE Group in 2018 with the club on the brink of administration, Xia’s liability to Lerner fell on the club.
A statement released by Villa, to coincide with the release of the club’s 2021-22 accounts, revealed: “Exceptional administrative expenses included a payment of £10m to Randolph D Lerner following the retaining of Premier League status for the third consecutive season since promotion.”
Lerner also pocketed a £30m payment after Villa won promotion back to the top flight four years ago, as part of the same 2016 deal with Xia.
Villa reported a £400,000 profit for the financial year, despite a drop of around £5m in revenues to £178.4m.
However the bottom line was massively boosted by the £100m British record transfer of Jack Grealish to Manchester City, with the club spending £203.5 on signings including Emi Buendia, Leon Bailey, Danny Ings and Lucas Digne.
Meanwhile, Gustavo Goni, the agent of Villa’s World Cup winning goalie Emi Martinez, has denied there is a rift between his client and Villa manager Unai Emery, describing their relationship as “rock solid”.
Martinez has made it clear he wants to play in the Champions League but Goni told Italian media: “His relationship with Emery couldn’t be better. He is a leader of the group.
“He would like to play and win the Champions League, let’s hope he can do it with Aston Villa.”
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Villa are currently 11th in the Premier League table after a notable improvement under new manager Emery.
The Spanish tactician replaced Steven Gerrard at the helm in October.
Since then, the ex-Arsenal boss has amassed a total of six wins and six losses in 13 matches across all competitions.