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By ESPN Staff

Doug confirms takeover to Stock Exchange

Aston Villa chairman Doug Ellis has confirmed talks are ongoing regarding a possible takeover of the club.

Four consortiums have been linked with a takeover with the American billionaire Randy Lerner favourite to become the midlands club's new owner.

In a statement to shareholders released on the Stock Exchange, Ellis said: 'Extensive discussions are ongoing to determine whether a formal offer for the issued share capital of the company will be forthcoming.'

Last week Ellis appointed Martin O'Neill as the club's new manager following the departure of David O'Leary.

Preliminary results for the year ending May 31, 2006 reveal Villa made an £8.2million loss before tax in contrast to a £3million profit in the same period the previous year.

Revenue dropped from £51.6million to £49million with attendances down 8.7%.