By Amir Mir

Tony Xia has revealed that cutting the wage bill at Aston Villa has been “the most difficult” aspect of his job.

The Chinese businessman took ownership of the Midlands outfit last June when he replaced Randy Lerner following the club’s relegation to the Championship.

The Birmingham Mail reported that Villa boasted the seventh highest wage bill during that humiliating relegation where they picked up only three wins all season.

Owner Xia, who has made a number of sweeping changes to the club since he arrived, offered this response to the report.

“We have almost completed the most difficult part of the job,” Xia wrote on his personal Twitter account. “This was a crisis situation and more complicated than I expected.”

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

The report also states how Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Arsenal and Tottenham were the only teams to boast a higher wage bill than the Midlands club.

Newcastle were also relegated with Villa last term with the north-east outfit, who currently lead the Championship table, sitting 14th on the list.

Last season’s Premier League champions, Leicester City are one place above the Magpies as they caused one of the biggest shocks in English football by lifting the title.

Nonetheless, since Xia’s arrival in the summer, there have been a number of changes in the playing department.

The likes of Joleon Lescott, Brad Guzan, Ashley Westwood, Jordan Ayew and Scott Sinclair are a number of first team players from last season to have been sold by the club.

Furthermore, Villa purchased up to 17 players during the summer and January transfer windows as they are currently nine points off the play-off places.

In other Aston Villa news, this teenage duo should start against Burton on Saturday. 

We’ve launched a << BREAKING NEWS FEED>> exclusively for your club. ‘Like Us’ on Facebook by clicking here if you want 24/7 updates on all Aston Villa breaking news.