Aston Villa announced recently that Christian Purslow will become the new Chief Executive and a minority investor. His job is to take over the day-to-day operations of the club and one of those decisions is the future of underperforming manager Steve Bruce. The latest football odds in the Championship aren’t looking great for Bruce.
So who is this man who has been given all the power at our club? Do we have another Tom Fox on our hands?
From Liverpool to Chelsea
During 2009 and 2010 Purslow was listed as the managing director of Liverpool. During his tenure at Liverpool, he oversaw the sale of the club to Fenway Sports Group (the current owners) for a sum of £300 million.
Following this, Purslow was the managing director at Chelsea from 2014 through 2017, where the club won the FA Cup in the 2017 – 2018 season and runner’s up in the 2016-2017 season.
After failing to win promotion back to the Premiership last season, Villa fell on hard financial times. The new owners will be hoping Purslow can help the Midlands giants to find their feet again.
In June the High Court was considering a “winding-up” order, but the club came to a payment schedule with HMRC to whom they owed a substantial amount of money. At this time, the club needed to raise a sum of £40 million in order to comply with the regulations established by the Financial Fair Play regulations.
Majority Owners Have Their Say
In a recent statement regarding the hiring of Purslow, Aston Villa’s majority shareholders Wes Edens and Nassef Sawiris had this to say:
“We are tremendously excited to bring someone of Christian’s calibre and experience into the club. This is an important step on our journey to return Aston Villa back to the elite of English football.”
It is hoped that Purslow will work very closely not only with the owners of the team, but also with the coaches, and the players will help put the club back on track, moving forward and upwards back into to the Premier League where the team belongs.
Team co-chairman Dr Tony Xia had this to add:
“I am delighted to welcome Christian who will work closely with Nassef, Wes, and myself to move the club in a better direction. I look forward to seeing him shine at our football club.”
Hot on the Heels of Keith Wyness Being Sacked
The addition of Purslow to the team comes hot on the heels of the sacking of former chief executive Keith Wyness in June after he had been suspended. Many believe Wyness and Xia had a significant difference of opinion regarding the sale of certain assets due to the club being in significant financial distress.
Among the disagreements appears to be the sale of various players in an attempt to balance the books. It seems that Wyness took over the team in 2016 after the club had been removed from the Premier League. However, over the past couple of years, the club spent more than £80 million trying to rebuild the team in an attempt to restore the team back to their position in the Premier League.
The hopes of the owners and the fans will now rest in the hands of Purslow. Can he turn things around or are we just the new Leeds United?