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Meet the Super Bowl-winning owner linked to Aston Villa

| 21.01.2015

Since Aston Villa owner Randy Lerner announced his willingness to sell the club last May, rumours about takeover bids have almost overtaken the number of reports linking the miserly Midlands club to players.

Dallas Mavericks owner, and fellow American, Mark Cuban was reportedly on the cusp of lodging a bid last month, while there was also talk of interest from Azerbaijan, but neither of those parties could brag of the same riches as the latest would-be owner.

Paul Allen, who co-founded Microsoft with Bill Gates in 1975 and is ranked the 55th richest man in the world, has had discussions with Lerner about buying the club, according to the Birmingham Mail.

Worth an estimated $17 billion, Allen has a number of sports teams in his current portfolio, but wants to add an English football club to his list of endeavours.

The 62-year-old lodged a bid to buy Southampton when the south-coasters were in the Championship in 2007, but was unsuccessful with that attempt and now sees Villa as the perfect chance to get into English football.

All three of the sides Allen owns have been relatively successful recently. His Seattle Seahawks are the current NFL champions and have just booked their place in this season’s Super Bowl to defend their crown.

The NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers got beyond the first round of the playoffs for the first time in 13 years last season and currently sit second in the Western Conference, while MLS’ Seattle Sounders, which Allen co-owns, finished as the league’s best side in the regular season before losing out to LA Galaxy in the Western Conference finals.

While Allen will bring with him the blueprint for sporting success at ownership level, it’s unlikely that his arrival will spawn a flurry of big-money moves, as none of his three US sides have a reputation for lavish spending.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.