Aston Villa confirm departure of chief executive Keith Wyness

Aston Villa have confirmed chief executive Keith Wyness has left the club following his suspension earlier this month.

A club statement said they noted “media speculation relating to prospective legal proceedings” to be brought by Wyness against the club, and said they would be “happy to defend if called on to do so”.

Sky Sports News understands Wyness has begun legal proceedings against the club with a claim for constructive dismissal.

Owner Dr Tony Xia has taken over his role as chief executive. The pair are believed to have fallen out over the potential sale of a number of the club’s assets.

Villa are in trouble financially, and were facing a winding-up order via the High Court until they agreed a payment schedule regarding the money they owe to HMRC last week.

The club are understood to be confident they will be able to balance the books, although they may have to sell players in order to do so.

The board are meeting on Tuesday to decide on the future of a number of Steve Bruce’s playing squad, including star forward Jack Grealish, who is interesting the likes of Tottenham.

Wyness was appointed as chief executive at Villa Park in June 2016 following their relegation from the Premier League.

In the two years since his appointment, the club spent over £80m as they chased a return to the top flight.