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Soccer-Purslow steps down as Aston Villa CEO

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LONDON (Reuters) – Christian Purslow is stepping down as Aston Villa’s CEO after five years in the role, the Premier League club said on Monday.

The 59-year-old leaves with the club enjoying a resurgence under manager Unai Emery, qualifying for Europe after finishing seventh in the Premier League.

“It has been a total privilege to lead Villa for the last five years,” former Liverpool managing director Purslow said in a statement. “I am proud that I leave the club in a much better position on and off the pitch than when I arrived.

“We are re-established in the Premier League; we now have a very competitive professional women’s team; we have outstanding academies for boys and girls; we have created a world class training ground and secured planning permission for an expansion and modernisation of our wonderful stadium.”

Villa were in the second-tier Championship when Purslow arrived, shortly after owners Wes Edens and Nassef Sawiris took control of the club.

“We would like to thank Christian for his outstanding leadership of the club over the last five seasons,” the owners said in a joint statement. “He has overseen a transformation of the club both on and off the pitch and delivered the ambitious turnaround plan he presented to us when he arrived in 2018.”

Villa will play in the Europa Conference League next season, their first European venture since 2010-11 season.

(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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