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Thursday, 13 December, 2001, 18:17 GMT
Villa fans plan protest
Villa fans have mounted protests against Doug Ellis before
Villa fans have made their feelings known before
Aston Villa fans are planning a mass protest calling for chairman Doug Ellis to resign.

A supporters protest group will target its protest before next Monday's televised match against Ipswich at Villa Park.

More than 25,000 placards with the message "Ellis out" will be distributed among fans to be held up as the teams run onto the pitch.

The protests underline the increasing frustration among Villa supporters with Ellis's apparent reluctance to make money available to manager John Gregory.

Gregory has spelt out his own feelings at not being able to boost his squad.

Ellis and his colleagues on the board have had enough warnings from supporters in recent times
Protest group spokesman Ian Robathan

When Villa topped the Premiership table in November, Gregory thought he had been given the funds to buy Leicester midfielder Muzzy Izzet.

But only last week, Gregory admitted he may have to consider selling record signing and fans' favourite Juan Pablo Angel to finance any excursions into the transfer market.

Gregory's net spending during his four years at the Villa Park helm is 16m.

He has spent 67m but recouped 51m.

Protest group spokesman Ian Robathan said: "This is no longer about signing one, or even 21 players.

"Ellis and his colleagues on the board have had enough warnings from supporters in recent times, warnings they have clearly chosen to ignore.

"They continue to treat the man on the terraces with disdain and they continue to trample all over the hopes and ambitions of the fans and the manager and players alike.

Villa chairman Doug Ellis can expect a hostile reception at the next home game
Doug Ellis has been accused of "restrictive thinking"

"We have all had enough. We will protest at this game and every single home game, in one form or another, until the executive board of Aston Villa is gone.

"I ask all Villa supporters to join us in the battle to rid the club of the restrictive thinking that is destroying our hopes for the future."

There were chants of "Ellis out" at Villa's last home game against Leicester in a throwback to similar protests last season.

Then, thousands of pound note signs were held up in protest at Ellis before the home game with Manchester City.

Balloons with pound signs were let off before the Manchester United game on Boxing Day.

See also:

12 Dec 01 |  Aston Villa
Second scan for Kachloul
11 Dec 01 |  Aston Villa
Gregory anger at Villa fans
08 Dec 01 |  Aston Villa
Angel may be sacrificed
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