Writer: J P Fear
Date:Wednesday July 19 2006
The departure of David O'Leary is no surprise as relations have obviously been stretched as yet another manager has tried to work under the constraints set by chairman Mr Ellis.
It would be fair to say that not many fans will be disappointed to see O'Leary leave, he did himself no favours in talking down to the fans or calling them fickle and as Pat Murphy said a few days ago, 'the chemistry just wasn't there'.
However the irony of the situation should not been lost. O'Leary wasn't forced out for criticising the fans, or for the humiliating defeats in the cups last year or for the worst start to a season in over 30 years. Nor was he asked to leave at the end of a woeful season BUT as soon as he was seen, whether directly or indirectly, to criticise Mr Ellis, he was out.
This proves Graham Taylor's point that Aston Villa is run by Doug Ellis, for Doug Ellis and on behalf of Doug Ellis.
We can but hope that Doug's trick of sacking a manager every time the pressure mounts on his tenure as Chairman doesn't work this time. A recent poll in a local paper had 88% of fans calling for Mr Ellis to leave and his 14th managerial appointment, where he will no doubt promise funds that don't materialise and herald in the next 'golden era' simply won't wash.
We call on Mr Ellis to step down with immediate effect, to put Steve Stride in temporary charge of the club until a reasonable offer is accepted for Aston Villa and for Mr Ellis to enjoy a long and happy retirement.
To that end, we hope that Mr Ellis does not bring in his 14th manager and that a caretaker appointment is made instead. Aston Villa deserve a top managerial appointment and in order to attract the sort of calibre we need, there has to be stability. For an appointment to be made whilst the club is without funds or leadership and is clearly in crisis would be sheer folly.
Mr Ellis' era at Aston Villa is over, he might not know it yet, but when a chairman stays on holiday whilst a Plc descends into a crisis situation, it speaks volumes.
Date:Wednesday July 19 2006
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