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Villa owner Lerner has no plans to sell

Aston Villa owner Randy Lerner has reiterated his commitment to the club, rejecting recent reports suggesting that he was ready to sell the club after five years in charge.

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Lerner, 49, first took control at Villa Park in 2006 but there have been rumours of late that the American businessman was pondering looking for a buyer to take the club off his hands.

However, he insisted in an interview with The Times that he has no plans to do so as things stand. Asked whether he was still committed to Villa, he replied: "Yes.''

On whether he could envisage selling, Lerner responded: "No. Not unless it's something to do with the kids - news you could never expect.''

Lerner has attended only one home game this season, but puts that down to domestic issues. He has four children and the son who lives with him has changed schools in the United States.

"I get the idea that, 'You haven't been at games, what does that mean?'" he said. "But while being in the right seat at the right game might create short-term reassurance, I can't get over the idea that really what people feel is that their club is being run by a group of guys who know the history, study the heritage and view Villa as a proud Victorian club in its third century.''

Lerner, who bought Villa in 2006 for £62.6 million, also owns American football team the Cleveland Browns.

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