Billionaire Egyptian Nassef Sawiris, one of the world’s richest men stepped in to save Aston Villa from meltdown and try to get the club back into the Premier League.
Sawiris has bought a controlling stake in the troubled Championship club from embattled Chinese owner Dr Tony Xia.
The London-based 57-year-old has a net wealth of £5billion and is a son from Egypt’s wealthiest family.
His injection is unlikely to stop the looming sales of Jack Grealish to Tottenham and James Chester to Stoke to balance the books amid Financial Fair Play concerns, but Sawiris and fellow investor Wes Edens, of Fortress Investment Group, are targeting promotion.
Sawiris’ family wealth is a staggering £27.5billion from business interests including nitrogen fertiliser, an engineering and building firm, plus stakes in cement giant Lafarge Holcim and Adidas.
His involvement at Villa Park marks a huge turnaround in the club’s prospects after Xia was previously late with an HMRC tax payment.
Sawiris and Edens said: “We believe that together we bring business and sports experience that will help strengthen the club to ensure Aston Villa can return to its rightful place in the upper echelons of English Football.
“Our goal is to bring sustainable success to the club, building on its rich history while respecting its loyal fan base and unique culture. We understand that we are stewards of Aston Villa on behalf of the fans and we take that responsibility seriously.
“We look forward to working with Dr Tony to undertake a thorough assessment and evaluation of the club in the coming weeks and our priority is to strengthen the squads and structures ahead of the upcoming season and beyond. As lifelong football fans, we are excited and privileged to have become part of this great club.”
Villa failed to return to the top-flight after relegation in 2016 when Randy Lerner sold the club to Xia for around £60m.
They came 13th in their first campaign back in the second tier and then fourth before losing in the play-off final to Fulham in May.
That Wembley loss sparked a cash crisis and potential administration as the club have been losing £5m a month.
Hopefully, a turn around comes