Lerner Agrees to Sell Aston Villa to Recon’s Tony Jiantong Xia

  • Soccer team was relegated to Premiere League’s second division
  • Sale is subject to approval from English soccer leagues

Investor Randy Lerner has agreed to sell U.K. soccer team Aston Villa to Chinese businessman Tony Jiantong Xia’s closely held Recon Group.

Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed in a statement by Aston Villa Wednesday. The pact is subject to approval from the English Premier League and Football League.

The sale ends a tumultuous, 10-year, money-losing stint for Lerner, who previously owned the U.S. National Football League’s Cleveland Browns. Aston Villa was relegated to the second division this season after finishing last in the EPL.

Xia, in the press release posted to Aston Villa’s website, said he intends to make Villa the most popular English soccer team in China.

Recon Group, a private development company, has 35,000 employees in 75 countries, according to the statement.

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