I want to know where you heard that because I don't believe it.
Without being "in the know" I actually think that figure would be about right. Through boredom/curiosity, I wanted to do piece based on "a year on" from the swiss ramble's "Prophets and losses" blog to see how we had progressed and to see what we could expect for this summer. Unfortunately due to work etc I haven't been able to get it finished (although am happy to email people the draft work in progress document in case it is of interest). But anyway back to the point...
In the 2011/12 season Villa made a financial loss of £18m, and that includes sales profits of £20m (based on the figures quoted on the "Transfer League" website - assuming they are broadly accurate). In 2012/13 we then effectively made a loss of £23.7m on transfer fees (again based on the "Transfer League" website), resulting in a swing of -£43.7m, which assuming everything else stayed the same would put the accounts at -£61.7m.
So with a reduction in wage (which I would not expect to be that significant as we bought in twice as many people as we sold/released - even if they are on a third of the wages), increase in matchday turnover (more games on tv, and an increase in average gate attendance) and other savings a loss of £33m is possible. In fact given the above it wouldn't surprise me is the loss was worse.
Either way, Villa is lossing significant amounts of money and due to reduced operating turnover hasn't really improved the wage-turnover ratio. It may not actually be until this season (with the increased Sky money) we actually get close to breaking even.
As I said am happy to send the document on, still needs a lot of work, and is v long, so I'm not sure how it would work as a post but am happy to if it would be of interest.