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Eriksson Linked to Aston Villa Takeover
The Independent, July 27th, 2006 3:55PM



English club Aston Villa, which has been on the block for a few weeks now, has been linked with three potential suitors: one a life-long fan, another a U.S. billionaire who owns the Cleveland Browns, and the third is Sven-Goran Eriksson, England's former head coach. The battle for the Birmingham club took an interesting turn yesterday as Michael Neville, the fan, put in a $119 million bid to take a controlling interest. Meanwhile, Eriksson's agent Athole Still was revealed as the man leading a private equity group that aims to buy the club. Eriksson, of course, would be a part of that consortium, which suggests that he could succeed David O'Leary as coach. O'Leary was forced out a few weeks ago. Randy Lerner, the U.S. billionaire, has now reportedly dropped out of the race. Eriksson's agent was spotted leaving Villa Park yesterday after holding talks with club officials. Remember, Eriksson was infamously linked to the club during a conversation with an undercover reporter in January. Still and Neville are now the two front-runners, though Villa claims it has received "a number of offers" from potential buyers. Neville stressed the importance of having the club fall into the hands of a local rather than a foreign consortium. Villa's 82-year old chairman Doug Ellis is expected to step down due to health complications. Under Neville, he would retain a less stressful role with the club. Read the original story...

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