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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