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Former owner Randy Lerner set for bumper windfall if Aston Villa win Championship play-off final

By Matt Maher | Aston Villa | Published:

Former owner Randy Lerner is on course to net a £30million windfall if Villa win promotion at Wembley next week.

Ex-owner Randy Lerner

The proposed bumper payout was agreed during Tony Xia’s takeover of the club following relegation from the Premier League in May, 2016.

Xia paid an initial £76.2m for Villa, though the deal included a clause which would see Lerner net an extra £30m if they were promoted within three seasons.

Monday’s play-off final therefore represents Lerner’s last chance to secure the cash.

Under the original terms of the agreement, Xia’s Recon Group were required to foot the bill, though it is not clear whether this remains the case following last year’s investment by billionaire duo Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens.

The pair have pumped in £68million after rescuing the club from the brink of administration, with Chinese businessman Xia now a minority stakeholder despite remaining on the board as co-chairman.

Villa take on Derby at Wembley aiming to go one better than last season, when defeat to Fulham denied them a return to the top flight.

Victory is estimated to be worth around £170million and next week’s result will go a long way to shaping the short-term future of both clubs.

Villa, who are in their last year of parachute payments, are poised for a large-scale squad overhaul regardless of which division they are playing in next term.

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But a return to the Premier League would strengthen their hand significantly and allow them to pursue permanent deals for loan stars Tyrone Mings and Tammy Abraham, while alleviating any remaining pressure on meeting profit and sustainability regulations.

Reports have also claimed Villa would face a £4million bill if they are promoted, with pay rises due to several fringe players.

That includes Ross McCormack, despite the Scot having not featured in a Championship fixture for the club since January, 2017.

The 32-year-old, who arrived in a £12million move from Fulham shortly after Xia’s takeover, finished the season on loan at Motherwell.

Gary Gardner and James Bree are among the others whose wages are set to increase if Villa go up.

Matt Maher

By Matt Maher
Football MMPJ - @mjmarr_star

Sports journalist for the Express & Star

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