Dr Tony Xia is the new owner of Aston Villa

By Alex Taylor

Tony Xia has blasted former Blackpool manager Ian Holloway for predicting that Aston Villa could endure a second consecutive relegation.

The new Villa owner has become a regular Tweeter after taking over the club this summer and fans have generally responded well to the club chief’s social media messages.

But Xia, who usually posts positive and uplifting news about the Villa Park outfit, did not appreciate Holloway’s comments about the club following their relegation.

The former Crystal Palace, QPR and Blackpool manager predicted in his column for Sky Sports’ website that Villa would finish in 16th out of the 24 second-tier teams but claimed “they could easily get relegated”.

He added: “They’re lucky I’ve put them this high,” Holloway said. “Last season Villa’s players felt the weight of the shirt, but not the importance of it. They didn’t respect the badge enough. I’m worried nothing will change.”

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The comments made by Sky Sports pundit Holloway clearly incensed Xia, who appointed Roberto Di Matteo this summer in the hopes of making an immediate return to England’s top-tier next season.

“A failed player, failed manager and now f***ed pundit,” Xia responded. “Don’t bother reading at all!”

Di Matteo will take charge of his first competitive game in just six days time as his side prepare to face Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough on Sunday.

Villa have spent over £12million on central midfielder Aron Tshibola goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini and centre-back Tommy Elphick in the build up to the start of their 2016-17 Championship season.

In other Aston Villa team news, Xia has revealed what manager Roberto Di Matteo told him about the state of the Villans squad this summer and the club’s former managers.