A statement on the Club site tells us that businessman Nassef Sawiris’ group NNS and businessman Wes Edens, will immediately inject significant investment capital into the Club. That's pretty much all it says, but does this mean new owners too?
They are apparently both quite wealthy too. Nassef Sawiris has a net worth of US$7 billion according to Forbes in May this year and Wes Edens is a self made billionaire with a net worth of $1.6 billion according to Forbes in 2017.
I ask if this mean new owners and I emphasise the self made part about Wes Edens, because they're not going to give money for no control and as it turns out that the other part of the news is that Toy Xia is to become Co-Chairman and remain on the board, it sort of makes me think that the deal is done, but for Tony Xia to save face, it's not all getting released just yet.
I mean, it will have to right, but I think this is face saving for the owner. Maybe he has kept 10% or even 49% or maybe even there is another stage to this that sees Sawiris and Edens take full control at a later stage. I just can't see people investing and not for full control instantly or guaranteed at some stage in the future.
Either way, it's good news. Hopefully we can now focus on supporting the manager and the season ahead. If we learnt anything last year, it's that support from day one is probably going to be better for us.
And on that note, as and when anything else is known, I have a feeling I might write about it. But I also want to write that my biggest fear is that the investment isn't significant and this is all just some smokescreen created by the chancer. Anyway, think positive and up the Villa.
Final words on Tony Xia
And hopefully this is the last time I write about this charlatan. From day one he never felt right. There was always something about him. It was almost as if he went looking for online attention and it didn't feel right. There were those that sucked up to him and used that child like knowledge to engage with him and I don't know, they were the actions of someone that didn't know.
I don't like him and I've never liked him. I hope this is him gone and I hope we can close the door on this sorry episode on our Club. He was the main reason why we have remained relegated and with him gone, I hope now we see ourselves going back up. But we need to support the manager and give these new people the chance they deserve without childish comments about the manager. It's time for a chance and I know all supporters of Aston Villa will see that.
Video of the day
Statement in full
What follows was copied from the Club website.
Dr Tony Xia and Aston Villa Football Club (“the Club”) announce that NSWE, a company that is jointly owned and controlled by businessman Nassef Sawiris’ group NNS and businessman Wes Edens, will immediately inject significant investment capital into the Club. At the same time, Dr Tony Xia will become Co-Chairman and remain on the board.
The capital injection and transaction have been approved by the EFL and the parties will work through all confirmatory approvals required by the EFL as soon as possible.
The Club’s management remain focused on strengthening the squad and are fully aligned with the new investors who are supportive of their ambitions.
Dr Tony Xia and the Club are energised and excited about their interactions with Nassef and Wes and their teams and are confident that as strategic partners they bring exceptional business, sport and leisure expertise that will enhance the Club’s future prospects. The parties look forward to working in partnership to drive Aston Villa forward to success.
Dr Tony Xia commented: “I am extremely pleased to have formed a strategic partnership with Nassef and Wes. We have a common goal of delivering future success for Aston Villa and I look forward to working together to achieve this aim.
“To have come so close to achieving promotion last season was a humbling experience. In finding such strong partners as Nassef and Wes we’re gearing up to fight again and bring back the success that this Club deserves and we all so want to provide it with.
“The future is exciting on a number of fronts and I look forward to exploring further business collaborations.”
Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens commented: “As lifelong football fans, we are excited and privileged to have become part of this great Club. We believe that together we bring business and sports experience that will help strengthen the Club to ensure Aston Villa can return to its rightful place in the upper echelons of English football.
“Our goal is to bring sustainable success to the Club, building on its rich history while respecting its loyal fan base and unique culture. We understand that we are stewards of Aston Villa on behalf of the fans and we take that responsibility seriously.
“We look forward to working with Dr Tony to undertake a thorough assessment and evaluation of the Club in the coming weeks and our priority is to strengthen the squads and structures ahead of the upcoming season and beyond.”
NSWE is a company that is jointly owned and controlled by businessman Nassef Sawiris’ group NNS and businessman Wes Edens.
- Nassef Sawiris is CEO of OCI N.V., a €5.3bn Dutch-listed global nitrogen fertilizer and industrial chemicals producer
- He is also Executive Chairman of the topco for the NNS Group, a prominent investment company focused on building long-term strategic equity stakes in high growth, sector leading companies
- NNS is a significant shareholder in adidas AG and Nassef has been on the Board of adidas AG since 2016
- NNS is also a major shareholder in Bruins Sports Capital, a US Private Equity firm exclusively focused on the sports industry
- Bruins Sports Capital was established to acquire, build and invest in media, sports, marketing and branded lifestyle companies
- Nassef is 57 years old and is a citizen of Egypt and Belgium
- Nassef is a huge football fan and has been since he was a child
Wes R. Edens
- Wes Edens is a co-founder and co-CEO of Fortress Investment Group, a global investment manager
- Fortress was founded in 1998 with $400m of assets under management and Wes and team have grown this to c. $40.9bn AUM, as at 31 March 2018
- Wes is also founder and Chairman of New Fortress Energy, a global energy infrastructure company and Brightline, the new privately-owned express passenger train connecting Florida’s major cities
- Wes became co-owner of the Milwaukee Bucks basketball franchise in 2014
- Bucks delivered 26-game turnaround in 2014/15 season combined with fourth largest year-on-year increase in ticket sales across NBA
- Since Wes’ ownership, Bucks have made playoffs three out of four seasons and secured first back-to-back winning seasons since 1999
- He led efforts to deliver a new arena for the city and team and will be opening the $524m Wisconsin Entertainment & Sports Center, opening in late August 2018
- Wes created eSports franchise, FlyQuest, in 2017 to compete North America League of Legends Championship Series (NA LCS)
- Wes is 56 years old and lives in the US
- Wes is a big sports fan and a keen follower of English football