Championship: Aston Villa appoint former Liverpool chief executive Christian Purslow

Guardian sport
The Guardian
Christian Purslow, Aston Villa’s new chief executive, in his Liverpool days.
Christian Purslow, Aston Villa’s new chief executive, in his Liverpool days.

Aston Villa have appointed former Liverpool chief executive Christian Purslow as their new CEO and “minority investor”.

Purslow, who joined Liverpool during the tenure of unpopular owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks in 2009, arrives at Villa Park after Egyptian businessman Nassef Sawiris and American financier Wes Edens took a controlling stake in the club in July.

Over the summer Villa were in significant financial difficulty under the ownership of Tony Xia, who retains a minority stake in the club, with fears that they would have to sell key players like Jack Grealish simply to stay afloat. They even had to mortgage a piece of land used as a staff car park in anticipation of not being able to meet financial commitments.

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However, since the investment by Edens and Sawiris, Villa have been able to keep their star men, and even make additions to their squad, such as winger Yannick Bolasie who arrived on loan from Everton.

Purslow was Liverpool chief executive for just over a year, leaving when John Henry’s consortium bought the club in 2010. He later spent three years as Chelsea managing director, from 2014-17. Villa have confirmed that Purslow “will take over the day-to-day running of the club with immediate effect.”

Villa have been without a chief executive since June, when Keith Wyness was suspended and ultimately left. He is now suing the club for constructive dismissal.

Edens and Sawiris said in a statement: “We are tremendously excited to bring someone of Christian’s calibre and experience into the Club. This is an important step on our journey to return Aston Villa back to the elite of English football.”

Villa missed out on promotion last season after losing the playoff final 1-0 to Fulham. They have started the new season with two wins and three draws from their five games, and sit fourth in the nascent league table.

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