Writer: J P Fear
Date:Monday July 17 2006
Well, it is all happening at Villa, unfortunately only in the papers and not at Villa Park.
Doug is said to be on the warpath and I'm sure will leave no stone unturned in finding who was behind the players 'statement' and it looks like he already knows where to point the finger as he said to a reporter this weekend: 'You can guess who has instigated all this'.
In today's Birmingham Mail they say their understanding of the issue is that David O'Leary will certainly not be in charge by the start of the new season. They go further and say that O'Leary will 'pay the price' for the statement which has again dragged the club into the papers for all the wrong reasons - although every word of the statement was true and the shame that Doug Ellis should be feeling is much deserved!
The Mail also claim that at least one senior player who was said to have played a part in the statement is expected to face the first team and club officials today where he will give his version of events. He is said to be ready to apologise for speaking on behalf of the squad without their knowledge but, in his defence, claims he was under instruction from his boss and had little knowledge of the possible consequences .
That is a charge that David O'Leary flatly denies although the links to him leaving Villa Park for the Stadium of Light are growing stronger by the day. Some reports go so far as to suggest that Sunderland have already approached for the under fire bosses services, something Ellis would surely be only to pleased to agree to?
However he has told Sky Sports that he was not behind the statement. Well, someone somewhere is fibbing, would be nice if the people behind it were men enough to own up to it, I'm sure they will forever have the gratitude of the fans for what they have done.
O'Leary has told the Daily Express: 'I was shocked when I read what was said to be a statement from the players. I knew nothing about it and there was no sign of anything like this going on at the training ground. There were no huddles, anything like that. It has shocked me, big time. I have not heard from the chairman with his thoughts on this, he hasn't rung me.'
He has also laughed off speculation linking him with the Black Cats saying 'But this with me and Sunderland is rubbish. There has been no contact and I'm not expecting any. This is a difficult job, but I want to see it through. Players have grumbled and asked why there are so many cutbacks. They question it and they see it as petty. They are talking about clubbing together to bring in a masseur, but in general I have always detected the spirit as being good. That was certainly what I felt on Friday because I thought we'd had a good day of training. Now we've had a weekend off and we'll go back on Monday and try to sort this out between us.'
'I don't think any of this will change my relationship with the chairman. Why should it?'
Errm, watch this space David, my information suggest an A-Z of Sunderland has just been bought by a HP (source) close to Villa!!!!
Our latest poll asks who was behind the statement.
Date:Monday July 17 2006
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