Xia: Villa to be back in Europe within five years

New owner Dr Tony Xia during the press conference

Aston Villa were relegated to the Championship with 17 points last season.

New owner Dr Tony Xia during the press conference

Speaking to The Birmingham Mail, Aston Villa owner Tony Xia has predicted that it will take just five years for the club to return to European football.

The 39-year-old completed his takeover at Aston Villa this week, following the arrival of new manager Roberto Di Matteo in a double bit of good news which has restored a degree of optimism in the West Midlands - and they need it.

Last season, the Villans were relegated to the Championship with 17 points - their lowest ever total - following an abject Premier League campaign which saw managers Tim Sherwood and Remi Garde both lose their jobs.

New manager Roberto Di Matteo and new owner Dr Tony Xia during the press conference

Things turned ugly toward the end of the term, long after Villa's relegation was confirmed, as supporters began to protest the ownership of former Aston Villa supremo Randy Lerner, who incurred the wrath of supporters by often staying in his native USA rather than visit Villa Park.

But things seem that bit brighter following the arrival of Xia and Di Matteo, and the Chinese businessman has grand designs for Aston Villa by revealing his hopes to help the club back into European competition by 2021, with the ultimate goal being to win the Champions League.

New manager Roberto Di Matteo and New owner Dr Tony Xia pose after the press conference

“The aim, not just the hope, is to get back in European field within five years and I wish we can succeed to get another trophy like we have here in eight or 10 years," he told The Birmingham Mail.

“That is not an exact number, but we want to win (the Champions League)."

Xia already has a Champions League-winning manager at the club, after Di Matteo inspired Chelsea to success in the 2012 edition of Europe's most prestigious club competition.

Perhaps fanciful, but Aston Villa fans will be excited by his prediction nonetheless as it illustrates his ambition.

New manager Roberto Di Matteo poses after the press conference

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