London - Aston Villa's American owner Randy Lerner intends
to sell the club, he said Monday.
Lerner took control of the English Premier League side in
2006 after a 62.6m takeover ($105.7 million) that saw him buy out the
Birmingham team's longstanding former owner, Doug Ellis.
"I owe it to Villa to move on, and look for fresh,
invigorated leadership, if in my heart I feel I can no longer do the job,"
Lerner said in a statement.
Villa struggled in the 2013-14 season, finishing 15th in the
Premier League, just five points above the relegation places.
The announcement from Lerner was widely expected after he
said last month he would address speculation about his future after the end of
"Several weeks back I said that following the end of
the season I would clarify my future role with the club, and address what had
become seemingly constant rumours of a sale," Lerner added Monday after a
season that finished with Sunday's disappointing 3-0 loss away to Tottenham
"I have come to know well that fates are fickle in the
business of English football.
"And I feel that I have pushed mine well past the
Meanwhile the status of Villa manager Paul Lambert hangs in
Lerner took over at Villa Park promising to make the 1982
European Cup winners, long regarded as a 'sleeping giant' of the English game,
a force once more.
Villa did make two trips to Wembley in 2010, reaching the
League Cup final and the FA Cup semi-final.
But the exit of manager Martin O'Neill, following a reported
disagreement with Lerner over transfer policy prior to the 2010/11 season,
sparked a slump.
For the latest on
national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us on Twitter and
like our Facebook page.