It’s the first day back for Aston Villa as they turn their attention to focus on pre-season, the players turned up looking refreshed and ready for training, but behind the scenes elsewhere, the club have sacked their director of football Steve Round, which will come as another big blow to manager Steve Bruce.
Round is the second major figure, after chief executive Keith Wyness, to depart Villa following their defeat in the Championship playoff final, a result which plunged the club into a financial crisis.
We can confirm Director of Football Steve Round has left the club.
— Aston Villa FC (@AVFCOfficial) July 4, 2018
The move inevitably increases the question mark over Bruce’s role who already has reportedly been told the club cannot even afford free transfers.
Although sources stress Xia is said to have no plans to get rid of the manager, and the experienced boss still does not want to leave.
Numerous parties are interested in buying Villa but Xia has so far rejected offers from the US and Europe.
It is thought Xia wants to carry on at the club even though he needs to raise £40million to comply with Financial Fair Play rules and has been battling cash flow issues for months, which earlier this summer saw Villa late on a tax bill and threatened with a winding up order.
Also, Wyness is now suing the Championship club for constructive dismissal which could cost the club over £6million.
The English Football League has written to Villa for a response on whether the Midlands side can meet its financial obligations and remain competitive for the campaign, which starts in a month’s time. Villa and the EFL have declined to comment.
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