By Amir Mir
Roberto Di Matteo has revealed how owner Tony Xia demands daily updates on events at Aston Villa and praised his passion for the game.
The manager discusses transfer targets and other Villa-related matters at least every afternoon with the Chinese businessman
Chief executive Keith Wyness is Xia’s eyes and ears in the Midlands but that doesn’t stop the owner taking a keen interest in the day-to-day running of the club and wanting information from Di Matteo.
“He likes to be informed on a daily basis,” Di Matteo told the Birmingham Mail. “He likes to engage with people. He’s very open to that. It’s good news. It’s really great to see that he’s an owner who has the passion for the football club he has bought.”
Xia took ownership of the club from the much-criticised Randy Lerner in June for a reported fee of £75million.
He hired Di Matteo to overhaul a team that was relegated into the second-tier after picking up a miserable 17 points all season.
Supporters reacted with anger to player performances, and the running of the club, as constant protests at Villa Park divided the supporters and players further away.
But, since Xia’s arrival, the Chinese Tycoon has been regularly interacting with fans on his personal Twitter page which Di Matteo feels is helping to bridge that gap.
“I wouldn’t have the time to interact with so many people on a daily basis,” said Di Matteo to the Birmingham Mail.
“But he’s quite open to that. I think he wants to be supportive and engage and interact. He wants to show his ambition that he has for the club.”
It is said Xia will be at the club’s opening Championship game against Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough on Sunday afternoon.
In other Aston Villa team news, the club’s new goalkeeper reveals in Italy they threw eggs as the youngster experienced his own relegation.