By Amir Mir

Tony Xia has defended former Aston Villa owner Randy Lerner, claiming he was used by people who abused his trust.

Chinese tycoon Xia was responding to an article by the Birmingham Mail where they asked supporters which owner they preferred, and showed how Xia and Lerner compare.

Xia purchased Villa in June from the much-criticised Lerner for £75 million, but the Chinese businessman took to his personal Twitter account to defend the American’s ten-year reign as owner.

“Randy is a nice man and he did want the club good,” said Xia on his personal Twitter account. “Though he was used by people [who] abused his trust. No comparison, unfair to both.”

Lerner was lambasted for his ownership of the club by supporters, and the Midlands giants suffering a humiliating relegation last season.

The American cut down on spending at the club in recent years and trimmed the wage bill as he first looked to sell the club in 2014, before eventually making the sale to Xia in June 2016.

Supporters held various protests last season at Villa Park, as they held Lerner accountable for the club’s demise.

In other Aston Villa news, the club’s new recruit praises the transfer overhaul at the Championship side.