American billionaire Randy Lerner has agreed a deal to take control of Aston Villa.
Lerner's takeover offer, which values the Premiership club at £62.6million, has met with the approval of the Villa board, who recommended unanimously that the offer be accepted by shareholders.
The deal will bring to an end Doug Ellis' 24-year reign as Villa chairman, but the 82-year-old believes it is in the best interests of the club.
In a statement to the Stock Exchange, Ellis said: "It has been my sincere pleasure to have been involved with Aston Villa these many years, both as chairman and as a substantial shareholder.
"The club has been an enormous and immensely enjoyable part of my life.
"I wish to thank the many staff at Aston Villa over the years for making the club what it has been and what it is.
"I am sure that this transaction will be the beginning of a new chapter in Aston Villa's proud history."
Lerner, who made the offer through his company Reform Acquisitions Ltd, added: "It is my belief and the basis for my bid to acquire Aston Villa Football Club that it can compete at the highest level within the Premiership and in Europe.
"The club has a rich history and a long tradition of passionate fan support."
Lerner, who owns the Cleveland Browns NFL franchise, inherited his fortune from his father Al, who founded the MBNA credit card company.