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Lerner takes back seat at Villa


Randy Lerner (PA)

Randy Lerner (PA)

Randy Lerner (PA)

Aston Villa owner Randy Lerner will take a back seat in the running of the club after announcing the appointment of Steve Hollis as chairman.

American owner Lerner has confirmed Hollis, a former deputy chairman of Birmingham Metropolitan College, as his replacement at Villa Park.

Lerner had promised to step down as chairman last May if he failed to sell the club, who are bottom of the Premier League, last summer.

In a statement, he said: "Regarding my future role with Villa, I expect to remain engaged with both Steve and Tom (Fox, chief executive) although at a somewhat further distance that I believe suits the reality that I live full-time in the States. That is appropriate given Steve's need to have the room to make decisions on behalf of the board.

Villa's success is dependent in aggregate on the skills, determination and commitment of the manager, chief executive and chairman. I believe Steve can contribute meaningfully alongside Tom and Remi (Garde, manager) and identify opportunities that can take the club forward."

Villa are eight points from safety and host second-placed Leicester tomorrow having ended a 19-match winless run by beating Crystal Palace 1-0 on Tuesday.