Ranson considering renewed bid for Villa

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The Independent Football

The former Manchester City defender Ray Ranson has confirmed he is considering a bid for Aston Villa.

A statement released to the Stock Exchange yesterday revealed that Ranson was "working on a proposal which may or may not lead to an approach".

Ranson warned, however, that any bid process was "at a very early stage". The statement said: "Mr Ray Ranson confirms that he is working on a proposal that may or may not lead to an approach being made to the board of Aston Villa plc for a possible offer for the company by Mr Ranson and others. It should be noted that this is at a very early stage and an approach may not prove to be possible."

Supporters' groups have long demanded that under-fire chairman and majority shareholder, Doug Ellis, step down. But the 81-year-old has constantly knocked back any attempts to buy control of Villa and a £30m bid from a consortium including Ranson was rejected 14 months ago.

However, Ellis' health is now a major factor following his triple heart bypass surgery earlier this month. Many Villa fans believe this would be an ideal time for Ellis to walk away - for the sake of his own health and that of Villa, who have not automatically qualified for Europe for seven years.