New Aston Villa owner Dr Tony Xia has insisted that the club wants to be in a position to compete for the Champions League in 10 years.
Villa were relegated from the Premier League last season after winning just three of their 38 games, with both Tim Sherwood and Remi Garde being sacked during the course of the campaign.
The doom and gloom at Villa Park has since been lifted slightly with the arrival of Xia, who has now completed his takeover from Randy Lerner and confirmed Roberto Di Matteo as the club’s new manager.
As they now begin to plot their return to the top flight next season, Xia has outlined his ambitious plans for the future. On one hand it’s exciting to hear him discuss Villa reaching such heady heights, but on the other, he must remain realistic and avoid setting expectations too high which could in turn come back to haunt him with the supporters.
“We don’t have a very detailed plan but we have a vision that we will challenge to get back into the Premier League and we will be challenging when we get back,” he told the media at a press conference on Wednesday.
“The aim, not just the hope, is to get back in European field within five years and I wish we can succeed to get another trophy like we have here in eight or 10 years.
“That is not an exact number, but we want to win the European Cup.
“After we get back to the Premier League we have to know who are the other teams we need to compete with. You have to know the whole system of this business and you have to know who else you have to compete with.”
It will be interesting to now see who the club target in the coming weeks and months, as they will naturally be looking for players with experience of playing in the Championship and essentially who have a track record of success at that level.
However, perhaps the biggest obstacle that they will face this summer is getting rid of under-performing players on big contracts, and that is something Di Matteo will have to address early on as he begins work at the club.