13 May 2014

Aston Villa up for sale

11:42 am on 13 May 2014

American owner Randy Lerner has put English Premier League football club Aston Villa up for sale after another disappointing season for the former European champions.

Lerner, former owner of the Cleveland Browns NFL team, took over Villa in 2006 but says he's grown tired of the side's struggles with injuries and recent rumours that he planned to sell up.

The asking price is likely to be somewhere in the region of $300 million to 400 million, and the sale process will test how much appetite there is among investors for mid-ranking teams in the Premier League.

There was speculation on social media that billionaire Oracle owner Larry Ellison could buy the club.

Villa, based in the city of Birmingham, finished 15th in the 20-team Premier League.

The club lost more than $100 million in 2012-13 but says its finances have improved over the past year as the Premier League enjoys lucrative new television contracts.

Villa have won the English title seven times but the last of those triumphs came in 1981. They won the European Cup in the following season and their last major trophy was the League Cup in 1996.