Owner wants Villa to be ‘top club in Europe’ in five years

Date published: Wednesday 10th August 2016 7:30

Aston Villa: Back to the big time?

Aston Villa: Back to the big time?

New Aston Villa owner Tony Xia has set an ambitious target to take the Birmingham club back to being “the top club in Europe” within five years.

Xia answered fans’ questions on Twitter on Wednesday afternoon, and revealed he has not planned for anything beyond Championship promotion this term.

The Chinese businessman completed his Villa takeover in June, and has insisted only an immediate Premier League return will suffice this season.

Asked where he sees Villa in five years’ time, Xia said: “The top club in Europe with the highest number of fans all over the world.”

Xia pledged to guide Villa back into Europe’s elite on completing his £52million purchase of the Birmingham club from Randy Lerner, but has now set those aims even higher.

Villa lost their Championship opener 1-0 at Sheffield Wednesday on Sunday, but that has not deterred Xia from thinking big.

Manager Roberto Di Matteo was able to close a £12million deal for striker Ross McCormack from Fulham ahead of the new campaign, and Xia clearly expects immediate success.

Asked if the club has a contingency plan in case of missing promotion, Xia replied: “At the moment we only have one plan”.

When another fan quizzed him on what would constitute success this term, Xia said: “Promotion is the first and only priority”.

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