Peterborough United director of football Barry Fry has apologised to Aston Villa owner Tony Xia for accusing him of lacking ambition.
Fry made the claim ahead of Saturday’s (January 6) FA Cup third round tie between the clubs at Villa Park. Posh won the tie 3-1.
But Fry, a former manager of Villa’s city rivals Birmingham City, now accepts this is not the case.
In a statement issued to the official Posh website, Fry said: “I must apologise to Tony Xia, the owner of Aston Villa Football Club for questioning his ambition last week without knowing the full facts.
“Before the game on Saturday, I spent 30 minutes in the company of Steve Bruce who explained that his owner had put in £80 million in the last two years at Villa.
“As usual, I got the wrong end of the stick and I apologise to Mr Xia. I had read an article a few weeks ago where Steve Bruce was quoted as saying he wouldn’t have any funds in the transfer window and that he had to beg, steal and borrow from his mates in the Premier League. Steve explained that was down to the Financial Fair Play rules, which we all have to abide by.
“I wrongly assumed the Villa owner and board were not backing Steve. Anybody that puts £80 million into a football club and who signs the best captain in the land in John Terry, has certainly got the ambition followed by his passion and commitment. I should have got my facts right and I am sorry.
“I thank the Aston Villa supporters too for their sportsmanship in clapping our players off the pitch and the wonderful comments we received after the game. Now, I urge all of the Villa fans to stay united and get behind Steve and the players and I am sure you will reach your goal of Premier League football.”