Lerner to take control of Aston Villa
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Lerner to take control of Aston Villa

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American billionaire Randy Lerner is a step closer to buying Aston Villa football club, after the board recommended that shareholders accept his bid of £62.6m.

Four consortia had been linked with the potential acquisition of the club, but the board backed Lerner's offer of 547 pence per share.

His buyout, which signals the departure of chair Doug Ellis, will be welcomed by Villa fans, who have become increasingly upset at Ellis' failure to invest in the club.

Lerner said: "It is my belief and the basis for my bid to acquire Aston Villa Football Club that it can compete at the highest level within the Premiership and in Europe. The club has a rich history and a long tradition of passionate fan support."

Lerner, the owner of the Cleveland Browns, who play in the American National Football League (NFL), established a new company – Reform Acquisitions – to lead the takeover.

In recent years, the Browns have seen substantial sums invested in the club's stadium and training facilities – a practice which Lerner may employ at Aston Villa.

He will become the second American owner of a Premier League club who also has an interest in the NFL – Manchester Utd owner Malcolm Glazer also owns the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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American billionaire Randy Lerner is a step closer to buying Aston Villa football club, after the board recommended that shareholders accept his bid of £62.6m.
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Les Mills International
Les Mills International