I know that all the Villa fans experienced a very frustrating and disappointing Play-Off Final last Saturday. After seeing many Villa supporters on Twitter hoping that I can publish a statement as soon as possible, I feel like it would be best for me to write the following words when I am relatively calm.
I care as much about this club as anyone. Even though I am back in Beijing, I still can't recover from our game at Wembley. The emotion needs time to heal. However, I know that all our management staff, coaches, players and myself need to get back on our feet and prepare to fight again. Like everyone else, I'm delighted to see that under Steve’s management this season, we demonstrated character and unity. We fought like a team. Indeed, the loss is a pity, but we know how much effort and hard work our coaching staff and players put in this season. I want to thank Steve from the bottom of my heart, particularly for his remarkable level of professional focus despite losing his parents this year. With that, I would like to say thank you to Steve and his coaching staff once again for leading the team forward wholeheartedly throughout the season.
We are all aware that we will face severe FFP challenges next season. I am an Aston Villa fan. But I am also a businessman. Under the current circumstances, I think the club needs to rethink not only the past two years but also the past ten years. Villa needs to be a sustainable football club. People join. People leave. That is the cycle of football. But the football club always remains through it all. This is the ultimate reality that cannot be changed, but I can assure you that everyone behind the scenes is working tirelessly towards achieving our ultimate goal.
We have been heavily investing for the past two seasons. However, the loss on Saturday means that we need to change a lot of things. No one wanted to see the club have to go through this, but I believe that only changes can help the club to progress towards the positive direction and this requires the joint efforts of everyone associated with this great football club. No matter what the changes will be, I sincerely hope that everyone can unite and overcome the challenges together. Our goal has not changed and as long as we believe, regardless of how tough the process will be, I am sure we will succeed in the end.
Thank you very much once again for all your support.
Dr Tony Xia