Sports / Soccer

China speeds up purchase of world sports industry

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-04-22 15:08

China speeds up purchase of world sports industry

Leandro Bacuna and Christian Benteke celebrate after Aston Villa win the match 2-1 to reach the 2015 FA Cup Final April 19, 2015.  [Photo/IC]

LONDON - A wealthy Chinese consortium plans to complete a takeover of English Premier League club Aston Villa immediately after the FA Cup final, local media reported on Monday.

Tim Sherwood's side stunned Liverpool on Sunday to set up a showdown against Arsenal on May 30 in FA Cup final. The group have also held talks with neighboring West Brom as a back-up plan as the move for Villa would depend on them avoiding relegation, according to reports from English daily Mirror.

Mirror said the consortium already have representatives in England and are doing due diligence ahead of completing a Villa deal in early June.

They have been at the training ground and toured the club as wantaway owner Randy Lerner is willing to sell for around 150 million pounds (225 million dollars).

Four miles away, Baggies chairman Jeremy Peace has also put his club up for sale - and the same Chinese group are interested in Albion as an alternative.

Peace, who has shown the group around their stadium and facilities, is holding out for upwards of 100 million pounds (149 million dollars).

The takeover for Villa is part of Chinese investers' purchase of sports industry worldwide.

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