Published On: Fri, Aug 19th, 2016

Chairman Xia: Aston Villa will be 'top club in Europe' within 5 years

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Aston Villa‘s bombastic chairman, Dr. Tony Xia, is aiming to bring the club from the Championship to the summit of European football.

After completing a takeover of the Birmingham outfit in June, Xia has trumpeted his grandiose plans to eager Villa followers on Twitter.

He engaged with some of those supporters Wednesday during a Q-and-A session before the club’s EFL Cup match against fourth-tier Luton Town.

Asked where he sees the former European Cup champion in five years, Xia responded: “The top club in Europe with the highest number of fans all over the world.”

Leicester City‘s owner, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, made a similar pledge in 2014 after the east Midlands side achieved Premier League promotion. Back then, Srivaddhanaprabha targeted a top-five finish within three years, and investments totalling £180 million.

The Foxes bettered even his grandest goals, as they shocked the Premier League and claimed their first top-flight title in May thanks to performances from tireless midfielder N’Golo Kante, PFA Player of the Year Riyad Mahrez, and fellow protagonist Jamie Vardy.

But Villa has a lot of work to do if Wednesday’s eventual 3-1 loss to League Two Luton is any indication of what’s to come.

Xia returned to Twitter after the match to offer a more sobering message to the fans.

“Even (though) we agreed to take the LC match as (a) checking game, some players are not worth being given a chance,” he wrote.

Newly appointed manager Roberto Di Matteo also called for “some fresh faces” to re-energise team morale.

Among the high-profile names on the pitch were former Manchester City defender Micah Richards, troublesome midfielder Jack Grealish, and summer signing Ross McCormack. Defender Jores Okore scored an own goal in the defeat.

Villa opened its Championship campaign last weekend with a 1-0 loss to promotion rival Sheffield Wednesday.

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