MX23RW : Tuesday, October 23 14:42:10

Tony Xia: 'Aston Villa face severe challenges next season'

Tony Xia: 'Villa face severe challenges'
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Tony Xia admits that Aston Villa must start cutting costs if they are to avoid Financial Fair Play sanctions, having been condemned to a third season in the Championship.

Aston Villa owner Dr Tony Xia has acknowledged that his side "face severe Financial Fair Play challenges" next season after missing out on their target of promotion.

The Villans suffered a 1-0 loss to Fulham in last weekend's playoff final at Wembley Stadium, condemning them to a third successive season of Championship football.

With a number of big earners on their books, Villa will reportedly consider cashing in on their prized assets - Jack Grealish among them - while boss Steve Bruce must also cut the club's hefty wage bill.

In a statement released on the club's website, Xia confessed that tough times potentially lie ahead for the West Midlanders unless changes are made.

"We are all aware that we will face severe FFP challenges next season. I am an Aston Villa fan. But I am also a businessman," he said. "Under the current circumstances, I think the club needs to rethink not only the past two years but also the past 10 years. Villa needs to be a sustainable football club. People join. People leave. That is the cycle of football.

"But the football club always remains through it all. This is the ultimate reality that cannot be changed, but I can assure you that everyone behind the scenes is working tirelessly towards achieving our ultimate goal. We have been heavily investing for the past two seasons.

"However, the loss on Saturday means that we need to change a lot of things. No one wanted to see the club have to go through this, but I believe that only changes can help the club to progress towards the positive direction and this requires the joint efforts of everyone associated with this great football club.

"No matter what the changes will be, I sincerely hope that everyone can unite and overcome the challenges together. Our goal has not changed and as long as we believe, regardless of how tough the process will be, I am sure we will succeed in the end."

Villa have started the cost-cutting process by offloading captain John Terry following the expiration of his rumoured £60,000-a-week contract.

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John Terry playing for Aston Villa in July 2017
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Middlesbrough13742167925
2Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd138142215725
3West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom1373331181324
4Leeds UnitedLeeds1365223111223
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6Norwich CityNorwich136341716121
7Blackburn RoversBlackburn135621616021
8Wigan AthleticWigan136251516-120
9Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest134721815319
10Bristol City135441714319
11Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds135442020019
12Brentford134632015518
13Aston Villa134632120118
14Birmingham CityBirmingham133821412217
15Swansea CitySwansea134541210217
16Queens Park RangersQPR135261119-817
17Stoke CityStoke134451719-216
18Bolton WanderersBolton134451116-516
19Reading133371821-312
20Rotherham UnitedRotherham133371020-1012
21Preston North EndPreston132471925-610
22Millwall132471422-810
23Hull City132381120-99
24Ipswich TownIpswich131661120-99

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