Aston Villa conclude sale to Recon Group, owned by Tony Xia
By Mark Ashenden
Last Updated: 14/06/16 5:28pm
Aston Villa have completed the sale of the club to the Recon Group, a day after its owner Tony Xia passed the Premier League and Football League's fit and proper person test.
The Chinese businessman bought the Sky Bet Championship club in May from American Randy Lerner, who had been looking to sell up since 2014.
Xia needed to pass the customary test for his takeover of the club to be completed and it was understood on Monday that the 39-year-old had been given the green light and was in the UK to complete Villa's acquisition.
A statement on the club's website on Tuesday afternoon read: "Aston Villa is delighted to confirm the sale of the club..
"The completion of 100 per cent ownership from Randy Lerner has been rubber-stamped by the Football League.
"Dr Xia has been informed he passed the owners and directors test and following the completion of paperwork, is now the Club's new owner and chairman. A new board will be appointed later this week."
Investigations into Xia's conglomerate, Recon Group, were carried out jointly by the Premier League and Football League as Villa, relegated from the top-flight this season, did not officially become a Championship club until June.
On May 18, when the sale of the club was first announced pending the 'fit and proper' tests, Villa said that their new owner "decided to buy an iconic football club in England as the cornerstone of his Sports, Leisure and Tourism Division".
Their statement added: "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."
Villa appointed Roberto Di Matteo as their new manager on a two-year contract on June 3, with the Italian then securing the services of Steve Clarke, sacked as Reading boss in December, as his assistant.