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Aston Villa owner Randy Lerner ready to relinquish chairmanship

Aston Villa owner Randy Lerner says he will quit as chairman in the summer if he fails to sell the club.

Fans have criticised Lerner for a perceived lack of investment in the club and although Villa face Arsenal in the FA Cup final this weekend, the Midlands club - valued at between 150m and 200m - finished just one place and three points above the relegation zone.

Lerner has been actively trying to sell Villa for just over a year and he concedes he should have given up the chairmanship earlier as 'the responsibilities that I have at home in the US both personal and professional come first'.

He told The Times: "I don't disagree with the (fans') criticism and what I should have done several years back was bring in a chairman.

"Yes, the club remains for sale. But as we've seen, 'club for sale' does not necessarily mean it will change hands so fast. I have had interest from nearly every corner of the globe.

"Germans, Italians, Americans and Chinese among others have expressed interest in and fondness for the Villa. They key of course is to try to put the club in custodial hands that can take the club forward. Resources and competence and a willingness to immerse themselves in the local fabric.

"Last year at this time I had a plan A which was to sell, and a plan B, which was to rethink the club's business management , which has led to the hiring of Tom Fox (as chief executive). This year plan A remains to find a buyer if on the cards or, plan B, find a new chairman."

Headlines for Aston Villa this week

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  • Aston Villa owner Randy Lerner ready to relinquish chairmanship

  • Aston Villa owner Randy Lerner says he will quit as chairman in the summer if he fails to sell the club.

  • Villa's Ashley Westwood says Benteke has fear factor

  • Ashley Westwood believes that Christian Benteke has recovered his fear factor and has warned Arsenal that they should be dreading facing the striker in the build up to Saturday’s FA Cup final.

  • Chelsea should sign Christian Benteke, says Paul Merson

  • Paul Merson believes Christian Benteke would be a perfect addition for Chelsea and offer support to Diego Costa.

  • Rumours in the Press: Reds offer Lambert to Villa

  • Liverpool are ready to offer striker Rickie Lambert to Aston Villa in their bid to sign Christian Benteke and Everton want Wolves' Bakary Sako.

  • Aston Villa goalkeeper Shay Given is a doubt for the FA Cup final, says Tim Sherwood

  • Shay Given is a doubt for Aston Villa's FA Cup final with Arsenal, boss Tim Sherwood has revealed.

  • Aston Villa 0-1 Burnley: Danny Ings heads winner on farewell appearance

  • Danny Ings marked what is likely to be his final appearance for Burnley by scoring the winning goal as they beat Aston Villa 1-0 at Villa Park.

  • Tim Sherwood expects Christian Benteke to remain Aston Villa player

  • Tim Sherwood is convinced Christian Benteke wants to stay at Aston Villa, although he has not broached the subject with him.

  • Tim Sherwood hopeful Ron Vlaar will stay at Aston Villa

  • Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood has revealed in-demand defender Ron Vlaar has told him he wants to stay at the club.

  • Tim Sherwood confirms Aston Villa will not celebrate survival with players' party

  • Tim Sherwood said it would be ‘in bad taste’ for Aston Villa to celebrate their Premier League survival.

  • Roy Hodgson: Jack Grealish has England future if he wants it

  • Roy Hodgson has told Aston Villa starlet Jack Grealish he has a future with England if he wants it.

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