Writer: J P Fear
Date:Sunday August 6 2006
Doug Ellis has admitted, in an interview with Sky Sports News, that negotiations are ongoing and that he is hopeful things will be sorted 'in weeks rather than months.'
''As far as I'm concerned the negotiations with the club are ongoing,'' continued Ellis. ''I made it very clear I was prepared to sell. 'I'm 82 years of age, I've just had five operations since last June. I had to be sensible. Nevertheless, I won't walk away from Aston Villa.'
He says his health isn't the main reason for selling but 'The main reason is the future of the club. 'If someone with a lot of money, just look at what happened with Abramovich, who bought his way to the championship. 'I don't suggest the people I've been talking to, and I've been talking to several, are going to be Abramovich class. 'I don't think there's anyone in that class. Still, nevertheless, they are big people.''
On the timing he said: ''A week in parliament is an hour in football. Things can change overnight. 'I know where we stand, I'm not going to talk about it to be honest, but I'm hopeful it will come to pass in weeks, rather than months.''
The only bit that causes a worry is his belief that he is 'wanted'. It depends under what circumstances he thinks he should stay. If it is a honouree role that finally gets him to step aside, then you can understand the politics and accept the decision, lets just hope he doesn't hang out to remain on the board, either as exec or non-exec, because no new group would buy the club on those terms, or at least no sensible forward thinking group.
Ellis explained: ''They want me to be (still involved), their own words, not mine' and quoting Michael Neville who said 'why throw the baby out with the bath water' a week or so back, Ellis ends: ''Their own words are why throw away all that experience and knowledge and contacts.''
I spoke with Michael Neville at the time and he confirmed that his group would keep him as an ambassador but not on the board and that his words to the press had been misconstreud. I'm sure all the other groups would look to do the same.
Date:Sunday August 6 2006
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