Saturday 20 July 2019

Aston Villa confirm the departure of chief executive Keith Wyness

Keith Wyness
Keith Wyness

Nick Mashiter

Aston Villa have confirmed the departure of chief executive Keith Wyness and said they will defend themselves against any legal proceedings brought against them.

The 60-year-old left the club after being suspended last week and is planning to sue for constructive dismissal, which could cost Villa over £6million.

He fell out with owner Tony Xia as the chairman is understood to have been upset Wyness was seeking outside advice to safeguard the future of the cash-strapped club.

A statement read: "Aston Villa Football Club can confirm that Keith Wyness has now left the club.

"The club notes the media speculation relating to Keith's departure and prospective legal proceedings.

"The club will be happy to defend legal proceedings if called on to do so and does not propose to comment further at this time."

Villa need to find £40million to comply with Financial Fair Play rules after they failed to return to the Premier League.

They face a third season outside the top flight after losing the Sky Bet Championship play-off final 1-0 to Fulham last month.

Defeat highlighted the club's financial problems and they missed a tax payment last week.

The club staved off the immediate threat of administration by paying a large chunk of the £4million bill to HMRC.

But they will be faced with another tax bill in under two weeks with wages also due to be paid.

Issues began to arise internally with Xia and his finances last August and Villa needed to get promoted to solve their problems.

Jack Grealish is likely to be sold with Villa determined not to be taken advantage of, with the midfielder rated at around £30million.

The future of manager Steve Bruce is also uncertain with Leeds reportedly interested.

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