Aston Villa lost £68.9m as they were promoted to Premier League

Villa Park
Aston Villa were promoted to the Premier League after winning the Championship play-off final in May 2019

Aston Villa made a pre-tax loss of £68.9m as they were promoted back to the Premier League.

The sum is revealed in the financial statement of the club's parent company to 31 May 2019, and is up from £36.1m a year earlier.

It also shows the club's wage bill was almost £95m - up from £73.1m in the previous 12 months.

Villa, who are in the top-flight relegation zone with 25 points from 27 matches, also paid £30m to American former owner Randy Lerner after their promotion from the Championship.

This was part of Tony Xia's purchase of the club in 2016 but the debt transferred to Villa when the Chinese businessman told Lerner he did not have the money to pay.

This sum, in addition to the losses, has been covered by current co-owners Wes Edens and Nasser Sawiris, who have now spent about £250m since they bought the club from Xia in 2018.

It is understood the pair were aware of the heavy costs likely to be incurred.

However, Villa feel the situation is now under control following the arrival at the club of former Liverpool chief executive Christian Purslow, who has taken up a similar role at Villa Park.

It is anticipated the club will break even in this financial year and every member of manager Dean Smith's squad is thought to have a relegation clause in their contract.

Also in the accounts, it is confirmed the club was facing an unfair dismissal claim.

This is understood to surround the exit of former chief executive Keith Wyness in June 2018, which was settled in November, after the period these accounts covered.

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