Saturday 20 October 2018

Aston Villa settle tax bill but financial concerns remain

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - MARCH 13: General view of Villa Park before the Sky Bet Championship match between Aston Villa and Queens Park Rangers at Villa Park on March 13, 2018 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images,)
BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - MARCH 13: General view of Villa Park before the Sky Bet Championship match between Aston Villa and Queens Park Rangers at Villa Park on March 13, 2018 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images,)

Nick Mashiter

Aston Villa have resolved their immediate financial crisis and will settle their £4million tax bill.

The club have paid £500,000 to HMRC and are expected to pay a further £1.2million by the end of the week, Press Association Sport understands.

The outstanding amount is likely to be paid swiftly after the club missed a tax payment on Friday, heightening growing fears of financial issues with Villa needing to find around £40million to comply with Financial Fair Play.

Chief executive Keith Wyness was suspended on Tuesday amid reports he had fallen out with owner Tony Xia.

Chairman Xia - now acting chief executive - has been struggling with short-term cash flow with tight rules on taking money out of China causing problems.

But he currently has no intention of selling, although there are at least three parties interested in the Sky Bet Championship club.

Administration is not yet an immediate fear for the club but Villa do need to find money in the long-term.

Xia, who bought the club from Randy Lerner for £76million in 2016, is looking at funding options with Villa facing large-cost cutting measures following a failure to return to the Premier League.

They lost the Championship final 1-0 to Fulham last month and face a third season out of the top flight.

Xia has confirmed the club faces "severe FFP challenges" and that Villa need to be a sustainable club.

Captain John Terry will not renew his contract after they missed out on promotion while star midfielder Jack Grealish could be sold to raise cash.

Villa were relegated from the Premier League in 2016, losing an ever-present record, and their final parachute payment is cut to around £15million this year.

The future of boss Steve Bruce is also uncertain with Xia yet to confirm the manager will remain in charge amid the financial uncertainty.

Press Association

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