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Final Villa pay day for ex-chief exec Tom Fox

Former Aston Villa chief sees salary package more than double in same season club is relegated from Premier League to Championship

Aston Villa's former chief executive Tom Fox enjoyed one final bumper pay day before leaving the club last year, new annual accounts reveal.

Fox, who left the club in March 2016 after a 19-month spell in charge, saw his annual salary package more than double to more than £2.9 million in the same season Villa were relegated.

The hike contributed to a staggering £9.2 million year-on-year increase in the club's overall wage bill to £93 million, in the season it finished bottom of the Premier League.

Last month, Aston Villa issued a brief statement in which it announced its losses had trebled to £81.3 million in the year to May 31, 2016, the majority of this was £79.6 million worth of one-off impairment charges.

The operating loss before these exceptional items was a much more palatable £1.6 million.

The full annual accounts have now been filed with Companies House and shed more light on the club's financial situation

Tom Fox's salary in his final season at Villa nudged the £3m mark
Tom Fox's salary in his final season at Villa nudged the £3m mark

Some of the headline figures are:

- The remuneration package of the highest-paid director (assumed to be Fox) rose from £1.25 million to £2.96 million. By comparison, his predecessor Paul Faulkner earned a mere £265,000 annual pay package

- Revenue dropped by £6.9 million to £108.8 million which the club previously said was attributable to a reduction in its share of broadcasting agreements as a result of the final league standings

- Gate receipts took a hit during the relegation season, dropping by £1.35 million to £12.5 million in 2015-16, while broadcasting revenue also fell year on year, from £71.4 million to £65 million

- Income from sponsorship increased by £885,000 to £11.8 million

- Profit on the sale of players climbed from £375,000 to £34.7 million

- The total wage bill for all directors was up by £3 million to £4.63 million while a further £2.6 million was paid to directors during 2015-16 for loss of office

In addition to Tom Fox, the club saw the departure of business figures such as Mervyn King and David Bernstein during 2015-16 and long-serving chief financial officer Robin Russell.

Both King and Bernstein were brought on board in early 2016 to help find a new owner after Randy Lerner placed the club on the market.

Chinese businessman Tony Xia took over the club in June 2016 therefore the buyout deal falls outside the scope of these financial results.

Among the other main comings and goings during this year were the big money sales of players Christian Benteke to Liverpool and Fabian Delph to Manchester City.

Manager Tim Sherwood left while Rémi Garde joined the club in November 2015 only to be sacked four months later, to be replaced by caretaker manager Eric Black.

Managers Roberto Di Matteo and Steve Bruce both joined the club during the 2016-17 financial period.

Aside from issuing a brief statement last month, Aston Villa have said little about the financial results.

But in a wide-ranging interview with the Birmingham Mail, chief executive Keith Wyness recently said: "The accounts are for the year before we took over the club - there is no cause for concern.

"Since we bought the club, we have reduced the actual indebtedness in terms of any overdraft.

"Also, (owner) Tony Xia is funding the growth at the moment himself so the club has probably never been in a better financial shape than it is right now.

"We are always going to see the issue of the parachute payments getting reduced in the years to come but that is something we are very aware of and we are planning for to go forward."

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