Villa set for difficult spell

Villa issued a signal of their future intent by signing up Fabian Delph to a new four-and-a-half year deal and will be hoping this can galvanise their form.

Paul Lambert???s side are only three points above the Premier League relegation zone after just two wins in their last 18 games ahead of Sunday’s trip to Arsenal.

The club have battled relegation for the past three seasons and American owner Randy Lerner, who has scaled back his investment, put the club on the market last year.

Fox is keen to build Villa’s off-field profile to boost their revenue but acknowledged the club must be patient and not rely solely on Lerner’s investment.

“The game has changed significantly and financially it has moved on considerably. The top five clubs from a revenue perspective are in a fairly different place to where we are now.

“I think top five is going to be very difficult for us in the period of three to five years, but we can get much closer to them in five years’ time.

“Ultimately we want to get ourselves back into a place where we can at least see those clubs and be within touching distance of a maybe a place in Europe.

“Our chairman has never been afraid to spend money on the club but it is not sustainable. And under the current regulations it is not allowable for an owner to come in and put all of the funds in that are necessary to compete at the top of the Premier League.

“We need to put the club in a better position though to be generating more of its own revenue.

“This is a big club and we need to be capturing more of the value from being Aston Villa Football Club than we are today.

“If we do that it takes the pressure off the owner to put nothing but his own money in, which he has done significantly since he purchased the club.”