Published On: Mon, May 12th, 2014

Randy Lerner puts Aston Villa up for sale

Lerner has blown the final whistle on soccer club ownership after the club that he bought in 2006, once again failed to rise out of mediocrity.

Randy Lerner puts Aston Villa up for sale

Randy Lerner, billionaire owner of Birmingham-based Premier League soccer club Aston Villa apparently finally got the message that soccer can be a great game to watch but can be very frustrating as well as expensive  for the guy who actually owns the club.

That may well be the reason why after nine disappointing seasons as owner of Aston Villa, Lerner has appeared to have learned his lesson  and is now putting the club up for sale, after once again  the only managed to hang on to the position in the  English Premier League by the skin of the teeth, finishing just five points above the relegation zone.

Lerner, who also divested his position as  majority owner of the  Cleveland Browns, who play  in the US National Football League, in August 2012, gained  control of Aston Villa in 2006 paying around  $ 90 million (£62.6 million) for the privilege, although during his time as chairman of the club the field to rise above the middle of the table in the highly competitive English Premier league, and never won a single cup competition.

More popular than many of the ever growing contingent  of overseas owners of English soccer clubs, Lerner had followed Aston Villa  when he was a student at Cambridge University during the nineties, When he decided to acquire the club in 2006, Randy initially  secured 59.69% of Villa shares, making him the majority shareholder, just a few weeks later,   increasing his share in the club  to 89.69%.

Apart from his initial investment, Randy invested a further £20 million ($30 million)  into the club in the spiring of  2013 as well as writing of  around  £100 million ($150 million) in  interest owed to him by the club, who have been struggling financially in recent years.

73080882 Football Aston Villa v Newcastle United

According to authorities on the current state of English soccer, Lerner is expected to be asking in the region of £200 million ($300 million) for the club, who have a rich and long history as well as a large and loyal following. Bn recent years, even before Randy came on the scene, Aston Villa having struggling for success on the field, and questions are being raised whether a buyer will be found brave enough as well as having the financial background to compete in the hardest fought league in the world, and enjoy the financial benefits of competing in the lucrative European Champions League competition.

What is for sure that Lerner no longer has the heart for the battle, with indications coming a few weeks ago that he decided to clarify his future role with the club, and address the seemingly constant rumours of a sale.

“The last several seasons have been week in, week out battles and having now come through this last season unfortunately limping amidst very meaningful injuries and constant sale rumors, I feel further that now is the time for me to look for new ownership and thus new leadership.” Lerner revealed in the  statement that he released after his decision to part company with Aston Villa

Lerner is estimated to have a personal fortune of around $1.6 billion.

 

Randy Lerner   graduated from Columbia University in 1984 after having, spent the previous year studying at  Clare College in Cambridge, England.

After completing his studies Lerner worked as a lawyer in New York City, before setting his toe for the first time in the water of business after joining the Progressive Corporation as an investment analyst.

In 1991, Randy Lerner formed his own investment company which called Securities Advisors, Inc. (SAI), which he owned and managed until 2001, until he joined his late  father Al Lerner in the MBNA Corporation . After Al Lerner passed away in  October 2002, Randy succeeded him as company chairman, 4 years later masterminding the sale of the company to  the Bank of America for $35 billion.

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