5 (-) Randy Lerner £800m ( - )
We know we’re courting controversy here. While David Sullivan has been consigned to the out-tray marked "non-Midlanders" on the basis of his declining interest, both financial and otherwise, in Birmingham City, we’ve imported US entrepreneur and lawyer Randy Lerner on the basis of his ownership of Aston Villa.
No, we’re not being partisan, and it does seem that David Sullivan may be adjusting his attitude following Blues’ better performances under Alex McLeish.
The clincher, though, was the very strong but as yet unsubstantiated rumour that Brooklyn-born Randy Lerner has bought a house in the region and so can be classed as living here, at least for some of the time.
Though, having only paid a rumoured £800,000 for his new Midlands base, he probably regards it as a holiday cottage.
For the sake of his security we’re not going to pinpoint where the rumour mill says his new house is. Suffice to say that it’s apparently handy both for Villa Park, and for Villa’s training ground in Bodymoor Heath.
Randy Lerner, who is 45, also owns American football team the Cleveland Browns. His interest in Aston Villa began in 1983 when he spent a year at Clare College, Cambridge. He followed the team, along with Arsenal and Fulham.
He graduated from Columbia Law School and is a member of the New York and District of Columbia Bar Association. He worked as a lawyer in New York before entering the business world.
His business career began at the Progressive Corporation where he was an investment analyst. In 1991 he started an independent investment firm called Securities Advisors Inc, which he owned and managed until 2001.
In 1993, he became a director at MBNA, of which his father was a founder. He became chairman of MBNA on his father’s death.
His £62.6 million takeover of Aston Villa was generally well received by Villa supporters, particularly when he opened his wallet and made £40 million available for new players within a very short time.
With Villa’s Premiership performances under Martin O’Neill looking better than for several seasons Randy Lerner has been accepted as a worthy successor to the venerable Doug Ellis.
He is married to Lara and has three children. Lerner’s £62.6 million takeover of Aston Villa was generally well received by Villa supporters, particularly when he opened his wallet and made £40 million available for new players within a very short time