Keith Wyness: Aston Villa to be sued by former chief executive

(left to right) Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce, defender John Terry and former chief executive Keith Wyness
Villa announced the suspension of Wyness (right) in a short statement on their website last week

Keith Wyness has left Aston Villa and started legal action against the club.

Villa suspended their chief executive last week and the 60-year-old is now suing the club for constructive dismissal after he decided to leave.

Championship side Villa also had to reach an agreement with HM Revenue & Customs over a £4m tax bill.

Confirming Wyness' departure on Tuesday, the club said in a statement it would "be happy to defend legal proceedings if called on to do so".

Wyness, who was previously chief executive at Everton and Aberdeen, was hired by Villa owner Dr Tony Xia in June 2016 after he bought the club from American Randy Lerner for £76m.

Losing the Championship play-off final to Fulham last month not only left Villa facing a third straight season outside the Premier League but also meant they missed out on at least £160m in revenue.

Last week they responded to fears over their future by confirming they are not working with insolvency practitioners or administration advisors.

Xia has warned of "severe Financial Fair Play challenges" after Villa's play-off failure.

The 41-year-old Chinese businessman is also understood to have cashflow problems because of strict rules about money leaving his native country.

Villa, who previously missed a tax payment to HMRC, have invested heavily in players over the past two years and will receive a reduced Premier League parachute payment of about £15m next term.

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