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Lerner coy on Villa takeover talk

SoccerNews in English Premier League 20 Apr 2014

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Aston Villa chairman Randy Lerner has refused to confirm or deny rumours that he is set to sell the struggling Premier League club.

Recent newspaper speculation suggested that Lerner is ready to consider offers for Villa, but the American is coy on reports of a possible takeover.

Lerner is instead focusing his attentions on preserving the club’s Premier League status, with Villa five points above the relegation zone.

A goalless draw with Southampton on Saturday edged Paul Lambert’s men closer to safety and came at the end of a week in which assistant manager Ian Culverhouse and head of football operations Gary Karsa were suspended pending an internal investigation.

Lerner – who has been at the Villa helm since 2006 – paid tribute to the club’s players for not allowing the off-field distraction to hamper their survival bid and vowed to address his future at Villa Park at the end of the season.

“Following the point yesterday (Saturday) at Villa Park, there have been stories about my selling the club,” said Lerner in a statement.

“On a personal level, I had hoped the emphasis would have been on the amazing effort on the part of our manager and our players to regroup throughout a very difficult week.

“Injuries to Libor (Kozak) and Christian (Benteke), compounded with the early loss of Jores (Okore) and the difficult rehab of Charles (N’Zogbia) have no doubt left Paul with far less to work with than is fair.

“Still, Paul Lambert has done nothing but work within the parameters I’ve set, put the club first and “continue to trust his players.

“As regards my personal role at the club and the steady rumours of a sale, I will address these after the season.

“Paul Lambert, Paul Faulkner and I speak daily and remain committed to the immediate job of limiting distraction and confusion in order that Villa have the best chance possible of finishing on a strong note.”

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