Aston Villa owner Tony Xia has paved the way to offload a stake in the club as he tries to raise some much-needed money and as another payment deadline draws closer.
The Chinese owner wants a cash injection with Villa in need of £40million to comply with Financial Fair Play.
Villa missed a £4million tax payment earlier this month and another is due at the end of the week.
Documents on Companies House show Villa will allow shares to be sold and a restriction on their sale has been lifted.
Details on Villa’s parent company, the Recon Group, confirm Xia now has the legal power to create additional shares and potentially sell a stake in the club.
Xia is the only director of the Recon Group at Companies House and the documents show he has the right to allot and sell shares.
Xia is likely to be searching for investment from China, although there have been at least three groups interested in Villa since they failed to earn promotion.
Selling the club is a last resort for Xia, who bought Villa for £76million in 2016, and he is determined to hang on to power.
He fell out with former chief executive Keith Wyness this month – first suspending him and then sacking him – after becoming unhappy Wyness was looking into options to safeguard the club’s financial future.
Wyness is now suing Villa for constructive dismissal and they could be forced to pay over £6million if he wins.
Villa are also due to meet with EFL chief executive Shaun Harvey soon with the league ready to offer what assistance it can.
Jack Grealish is likely to be sold to raise funds although the club are yet to receive an acceptable offer for a player they were hoping to get over £30million for.
Jonathan Kodjia and James Chester could also leave as Villa cut costs following last month’s 1-0 Sky Bet Championship play-off final defeat to Fulham.