Aston Villa owner Randy Lerner has admitted that he has been interested in taking over the club from chairman Doug Ellis for the last three years.
The American billionaire finally had his offer to take control of the club accepted by the Villa board just over three weeks ago in a deal that valued the Premiership side at £62.6million.
The Cleveland Browns owner told BBC Radio Five Live: "Aston Villa was a club I had already thought about for a long time as I became more familiar with the Premier League over the last three or four years.
"I just became more and more focused. The people I was working with in London had advised I continue to stay focused and that it (Villa) may be available, Mr Ellis may be of a mind to sell it and it kind of built on itself.
"It wasn't a lifelong thing. It would be dishonest and disingenuous for me to suggest it was. It seemed like an opportunity to make a little bit of a difference.
"I think Martin O'Neill is great. I think he's got the record, the history and the makings for a steady long-term commitment to Villa. That's the plan."