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Last Updated: Sunday, 27 November 2005, 12:24 GMT
Ellis receives takeover assurance
Aston Villa chairman Doug Ellis
The group hoping to launch a 64m takeover of Aston Villa have assured chairman Doug Ellis they will not asset-strip if they take control.

Majority shareholder Ellis warned he would only relinquish control if potential buyers benefit the club.

Michael Neville and property developers Comer brothers, who hope to take over, have moved to calm Ellis' fears.

Neville said: "No consortium I have ever fronted has been involved in asset stripping and I'm not about to start."

Ellis' remarks were not aimed at the group, but Villa fan Neville said: "As someone who grew up living near the club, I would not move in to Aston Villa and allow that.

"I have seen Mr Ellis' comments and I can tell him that won't be happening if the deal goes through." Ellis said: "I have to face the fact that I am 82 in January.

"And, as long as I can find the right people to take the club forward, I would be prepared to sell."

He added: "But it isn't just about money. It's about the club and what happens to it afterwards.

"I don't want a situation where if someone takes over, they will asset-strip, for example. I want to be confident they are the right people."


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