Aston Villa’s board has advised shareholders to accept Randy Lerner’s £62.6m bid for the club.

A club statement on the Stock Exchange said shareholders with a 56.85% stake in Villa had already accepted the offer and recommended all shareholders do likewise.

“The discussions with interested parties have resulted in the Offer by RAL,” said Villa’s statement.

“The board of Aston Villa believes that RAL’s offer not only fairly values Aston Villa, but that RAL will also provide the potential for the club’s future on-field success.”

Lerner said: “It is my belief and the basis for my bid that Aston Villa 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.”

Doug Ellis, 82, chairman from 1968-75 and since 1982, is to stand down.

He has been the target of constant supporter discontent in recent years, with fans calling for him to stand down.

“It has been my sincere pleasure to have been involved with Aston Villa these many years, both as chairman and as a substantial shareholder,” he said.

“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 this transaction will be the beginning of a new chapter in Aston Villa’s proud history.”

Villa recently appointed Martin O’Neill as manager, who is now expected to have more transfer funds available to spend before the transfer window closes on 31 August.

In the statement, RAL added: “We will be looking to allocate financial resources across multiple fronts such as an upgraded training ground and facilities, which are intended to include the academy, stadium upgrades and player acquisitions.”