Villa seeking to control wage bill
Aston Villa are aiming to manage their escalating wage bill while remaining competitive on the pitch after suffering losses of more than £37million for the year ending May 31, 2010.
The midlands club saw wages increase to almost £80million last season - an increase of £9million and they now account for 88% of the club's £90million turnover. But Villa sources are confident they will comply with UEFA's financial fair play regulations by the time they are in force by the beginning of the 2013-2014 campaign.
The regulations will force clubs to live within their means, something Villa insist they are striving to achieve despite the backing of American owner Randy Lerner.
Villa manager Gerard Houllier was made aware of the situation when he took charge nearly six months ago.
The aim is not to reduce the number of quality players at his disposal but to trim the squad to ensure those on sizeable wages while making little meaningful contribution are moved on.
In January, John Carew, Steve Sidwell, Stephen Ireland and Curtis Davies - four high-profile players on substantial wages who have made minimal impact at Villa this season - were off-loaded. Carew and Ireland made temporary moves to Stoke and Newcastle while Sidwell and Davies were sold to Fulham and Birmingham respectively.
The sources also pointed out that having an owner like Lerner is dissimilar to the situations at Manchester United and Liverpool where massive loans were taken out against the two clubs.
The US billionaire has injected £115.6m in equity and another £89.6m has come in through shareholder loans.
Increased turnover means Villa have become one of the top 20 earning clubs in Europe for the first time.
This included £52million from television revenue while matchday turnover was £24million and commercial income £14.4million.