Aston Villa rocked English top flight football on Tuesday by revealing they are considering legal action against the Premier League – just a week after Manchester City announced they were suing the competition.

In a development that will send more shockwaves through a league already reeling from City’s stunning move, Villa’s billionaire co-owner Nassef Sawiris blasted ‘anti-competitive’ spending rules he believes are blocking his club’s progress.

Sawiris, Egypt’s richest man, told the Financial Times he has contemplated launching an official complaint through legal channels. 

He said: ‘Some of the rules have actually resulted in cementing the status quo more than creating upward mobility and fluidity in the sport. The rules do not make sense and are not good for football.

‘Managing a sports team has become more like being a treasurer or a bean counter rather than looking at what your team needs. 

Aston Villa owner Nassef Sawiris (pictured right, with fellow owner Wes Edens) is considering legal action against the Premier League for its ‘anti-competitive’ spending rules

Aston Villa owner Nassef Sawiris (pictured right, with fellow owner Wes Edens) is considering legal action against the Premier League for its ‘anti-competitive’ spending rules

Aston Villa owner Nassef Sawiris (pictured right, with fellow owner Wes Edens) is considering legal action against the Premier League for its ‘anti-competitive’ spending rules

Villa are having to sell players this month to comply with PSR rules, with Douglas Luiz one player who could depart despite the Brazilian midfielder being a key player in their team

Villa are having to sell players this month to comply with PSR rules, with Douglas Luiz one player who could depart despite the Brazilian midfielder being a key player in their team

Villa are having to sell players this month to comply with PSR rules, with Douglas Luiz one player who could depart despite the Brazilian midfielder being a key player in their team

Villa are in advanced talks with Juventus over a deal for Luiz worth £16.9m cash, which would include unwanted players Weston McKennie (above) and Samuel Iling moving to Villa Park

Villa are in advanced talks with Juventus over a deal for Luiz worth £16.9m cash, which would include unwanted players Weston McKennie (above) and Samuel Iling moving to Villa Park

Iling is a 20-year-old winger who spent time in Chelsea's academy as a youngseter

Iling is a 20-year-old winger who spent time in Chelsea's academy as a youngseter

Villa are in advanced talks with Juventus over a deal for Luiz worth £16.9m cash, which would include unwanted players Weston McKennie (left) and Samuel Iling (right) moving to Villa Park

‘It’s more about creating paper profits, not real profits. It becomes a financial game, not a sporting game.’ He added that PSR rules were ‘opaque and… seemingly arbitrary.’

Last week outraged City bosses filed a 165-page legal document claiming they are the victims of ‘discrimination’ and that regulations approved by rivals they feel are aimed at curtailing their success are the ‘tyranny of the majority’. 

A two-week private hearing was due to begin this week and its verdict could have wide-ranging ramifications on the 115 charges aimed by the Premier League at City for alleged breaches of its rules on accounting. 

That hearing is set for November and could see huge fines and even relegation should Pep Guardiola’s four-in-a-row champions be found guilty.

Mail Sport reported that Villa were one of three clubs to have sympathy with City’s stance and now they have shown their hand.

Unai Emery’s men will be in the Champions League next season but in order to comply with the top flight’s profitability and sustainability regulations, they will have to sell players this month, with clubs permitted to lose no more than £105m over a three-year period.

Losing Luiz would be a huge blow for Unai Emery ahead of Villa's Champions League campaign

Losing Luiz would be a huge blow for Unai Emery ahead of Villa's Champions League campaign

Losing Luiz would be a huge blow for Unai Emery ahead of Villa’s Champions League campaign

Villa are in advanced discussions to sell key midfielder Douglas Luiz to Juventus for £16.9million cash, which would also mean unwanted Juve players Weston McKennie and Samuel Iling Jnr moving to Villa Park. 

Luiz may not be Villa’s only sale before June 30, either, with defender Matty Cash offered to clubs around Europe including AC Milan.

Everton and Nottingham Forest were docked eight and four points respectively for breaching PSR rules last season though both managed to avoid relegation. 

And Leicester, newly promoted from the Championship, look set to begin next season with a points deduction after they too were charged earlier this year.

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