FORMER chairman of KPMG’s midlands practice Steven Hollis has been appointed chairman of Premier League strugglers Aston Villa.
He was a partner at the Big Four firm for over 20 years and was a member on KPMG’s boards in the UK, Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Prior to his retirement in 2013, Hollis (pictured) returned to the Midlands and chaired its Midlands practice.
He also served on the industrial development advisory board for Sport England and advised several private and public company boards.
He said: “I do not underestimate the scale of the challenge that lies ahead.
“I am also clear that the long term solution to the club’s future rests in building a stable high quality team on and off the field and I look forward to working with [chief executive] Tom Fox and [manager] Rémi Garde to deliver this.”
Aston Villa are enduring a disastrous season and find themselves facing almost-certain relegation from the Premier League having won just twice in 21 games, finding the net only 17 times and amassing a paltry 11 points – equivalent to the worst-ever total set by Derby County in 2007/08.
Despite the near-inevitability of spending a season in the second tier for the first time since 1987, Hollis said he does not “fear” the prospect.
“If we unfortunately have to go through a relegation phase, we have no fear of that,” he told the BBC.
“[Club owner] Randy Lerner is committed and is going to support the board and executive team to take the actions we need to put us in the best possible position so we can come up as quickly as possible. This club will be here and we will be on a stronger footing.”
Villa are one of the oldest and the most successful football clubs in the history of English football. Villa won the 1981/82 European Cup. They have the fifth-highest total of major honours won by an English club, having won the First Division Championship seven times, the FA Cup seven times, the Football League Cup five times and the UEFA Super Cup in 1982.