Villa’s Chinese charm offensive

Earlier this year I was on a panel with someone in the marketing department at Aston Villa whose job was to promote the club in China.   Given the way in which the club have been dragged down under the ownership of Randy Lerner, he had a bit of an uphill struggle.

Earlier this year I was on a panel with someone in the marketing department at Aston Villa whose job was to promote the club in China.   Given the way in which the club have been dragged down under the ownership of Randy Lerner, he had a bit of an uphill struggle.

Under Tony Xia’s ownership, the club has launched a three day charm offensive in China.   As well as Xia and the club’s chief executive, new manager Roberto di Matteo was there.  

Quite what Chinese fans, who are attuned to the Premiership, will make of a Championship club remains to be seen.   However, given that Villa must have a reasonable chance of a quick return to the top flight, the strategy could well pay off in the medium term.

Part of Xia’s plans are to set up feeder clubs in China as well as India and the United States.  These may not produce many players capable of making a Premiership or even a Championship side, but it could help to promote the club who are one of the sleeping giants of English football.

Leave a Comment