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Villa upbeat despite major losses


Villa Park

Villa Park

Villa Park

Aston Villa suffered an increased loss of £53.9million for the last financial year but insist there are "positive trends" in terms of their long-term financial stability.

Villa had to to pay out £12million in management costs after the departures of Martin O'Neill and Gerard Houllier during that period.

The club's chief financial officer Robin Russell said: "Given the challenging economic environment that we have been experiencing in the west midlands and indeed globally, we are pleased with the positive trends in our financial performance."

Club owner Randy Lerner also invested another £25million as the club loss increased from £37.6million for the previous 12 months. But commercial income increased by 15.9% and total income increased by 1.3%, resulting in record income of £92million.

The club say this was achieved "despite a backdrop of instability as the 2010/11 season constituted one of the most turbulent in the club's recent history".

Russell added: "The board of Aston Villa is confident that the actions taken since the end of the 2010/11 financial year have galvanised the long-term sustainability of the club and have also given us a better financial platform on which to build for future success.

"Our objectives are to compete strongly on the pitch and to achieve sustainability as well as compliance with UEFA's financial fair play requirements."

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Meanwhile, Villa manager Alex McLeish has challenged the likes of Gabriel Agbonlahor and Stephen Ireland to make up for the loss of record signing Darren Bent for the remainder of the season. Striker Bent will be out for three months after rupturing ankle ligaments against Wigan and has only a remote chance of being available for England's Euro 2012 campaign.

McLeish said: "You don't want to see any player have that bad luck. It is a big loss to us, such is his prowess as a goalscorer. But it gives an opportunity to others.

"We have other players who have to take the responsibility - players such as Gabby Agbonlahor and Stephen Ireland. That's the great challenge for them. It's also a chance for them to show they can handle that type of responsibility."

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