yes they were, they were put on the board of directors, the one was going to be vice chairman, then taken off the board, back on and then finally totally removed.
It was all very odd.
Also seemed odd to me, for a 'rich man' like Xia, to have a character like Samuelsen involved full stop. Why have someone that structures deals the way he does/did if you are so rich as to be able to just open your wallet?
I do find the whole situation rather unsettling with this guy Samuelson. I said it at the time of purchase that it didn't sit right that he was involved. People will claim he just advised Xia on the deal but no advisor gets handed the role of Vice-Chairman and then removed with no explanation days later. He was also pictured in Beijing with the other guy Banfill, Rongtian Ho (Xia's executive assistant) and Tommy Jordan (press guy). All wearing claret and blue official club ties. Then Samuelson appeared on that video when the club was announcing soccer academies in India and Recon Sports allegedly buying an Indian premier league side... what ever happened to that? Samuelson was removed from the website as on the board and removed from Companies House website around the time they all were going for their interviews with the EFL to seek approval to sit on the board... mysteriously Samuelson just disappeared then and Xia denied he had any involvement.
Another concern is that of Wyness. Wyness was clearly introduced to Xia through Samuelson. Remember Wyness and Samuelson had history together at Everton when Wyness tried to do some dodgy deals to get money from Samuelson's off shore company into Everton.
But as they all seemed to depart apart from Xia and Wyness I think we all though we have to give the benefit of the doubt but this scenario is scarily similar to what happened at Reading when Samuelson was involved. They were going guns blazing when all of a sudden they were in financial problems and unable to pay a HMRC Tax Bill... just like Villa two weeks ago. Following that, their owner Anton Zingarevich just disappeared off the face of the earth leaving the club in around 50m of debt. They were eventually brought out by new Thai owners but Samuelson who was a Reading director (and provided the funds for the Russian guy to buy Reading) claimed that the Russian guy had financial problems back home in Russia and could no longer fund the football club. Sounds scarily familiar to me. The last part of it which seems to be a replica is that Samuelson attempted to buy Reading at a knock down price following the Russian guy fleeing. He set up a consortium to buy the club at a cut price and it, fortunately for Reading, didn't get through. However, you just wonder if Wyness had been promised a place in a consortium led by this Samuelson to buy the club following him putting us into administration. I'm only speculating, but the situations just seem very similar.
All very worrying, we are only a few weeks away from a new season. We have no clarity on our financial position, our manager, our players and the owner seems to have gone missing. I could be wrong, but I cant see Xia lasting much longer. I think it would be in the best interests of all of us here at Villa if he sold the club and move on, and not to any party involving Chris Samuelson!
Will anyone be surprised if we never see Xia again. These shadowy figures of Samuelson and Wyness are clearly not to be trusted. We can't even put pressure on Xia to sell as he is hardly ever present at VP. It's a mess, Has Bruce been informed of what is expected of him yet, what budget he has, just want it to be sorted out quickly so we can get on with the football.
Samuelson specialises in advising on and managing transfers of ownership. It's what he does. He puts temporary arrangements into place to ensure there's a smooth transition. He has long gone. He is nothing to do with Villa. Period.