Aston Villa's future looks bright with billionaire investor on board

Aston Villa
Aston Villa / Visionhaus/GettyImages

Aston Villa are set to secure a substantial investment from US-based firm Atairos, with billionaire businessman Michael Angelakis joining the club's board of directors. The investment is expected to provide crucial funds for infrastructure projects and drive growth for the Midlands club.

Angelakis, chairman and CEO of Atairos, will be one of four new appointments to the board following his company's planned acquisition of a minority stake in V Sports, Villa's Luxembourg-based holding company.

Alongside Angelakis, the prospective new board members include Chester Hall, managing director of Atairos; Bashir Lebada, CEO of OCI Fuels; and Sarah Watterson, former managing director at Fortress Investment Group.

Lebada's company, OCI Fuels, is partially owned by Villa co-chairman Nassef Sawiris, who holds a 38.8% stake. Watterson previously worked with Villa co-chairman Wes Edens at the Milwaukee Bucks.

The addition of these experienced business leaders to the board is expected to bring valuable expertise and strategic guidance to the club.

Atairos, which boasts over $6.5 billion (£5.2 billion) in equity capital, is set to provide Aston Villa with vital funds for infrastructure projects and drive growth for the club.

Despite Villa's impressive performance this season, as they compete for a Champions League spot, the club recognises the need to increase revenues to rival elite clubs in the long run.

The Atairos investment is expected to be a timely boost, potentially reviving plans to redevelop Villa Park by rebuilding the North Stand and expanding the stadium's capacity beyond 50,000 - a project that was put on hold in December. The increased capacity and improved facilities will not only enhance the matchday experience for fans but also generate additional revenue streams for the club.

Villa's billionaire owners, Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens, are expected to maintain full control of the club through V Sports, which will continue to own 100% of Aston Villa following the Atairos investment. The owners believe that Atairos is the ideal long-term strategic partner to support the club's next phase of growth.

The four prospective board appointments would mark the first changes to Aston Villa's board since former CEO Christian Purslow joined shortly after Sawiris and Edens' takeover in 2018. Purslow departed from his role in June 2022.

As Aston Villa looks to solidify its position among the Premier League's elite, the anticipated investment from Atairos and the potential addition of experienced business leaders to the board signal a promising future for the club. Fans eagerly await further developments as the club prepares to embark on this new chapter in its history.

The club's strong performance in the 2023-24 UEFA Conference League, where they are the favourites to win the competition and will play the second leg against Lille, has further heightened excitement among supporters.

The potential investment and board expansion, coupled with on-field success, could propel Aston Villa to new heights in the coming years