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Last Updated: Monday, 15 May 2006, 10:04 GMT 11:04 UK
Villa fans urging Ellis to resign
Aston Villa chairman Doug Ellis
Ellis has been chairman at Villa Park since 1982
Aston Villa shareholders and fans are calling for chairman Doug Ellis and the club's board to resign.

Villa Fans Combined and the Aston Villa Shareholders Association voiced concern over the 2005-2006 campaign in which the club finished 16th.

A statement said: "We have no money, a tiny squad, a hugely unpopular manager and fans leaving in their thousands.

"If these people had any pride and self-respect, they would step down with immediate effect."

Villa ended the season with their lowest ever Premiership points tally and also bowed out of the FA Cup at the fifth round stage and lost to Doncaster in round four of the Carling Cup.

If something doesn't happen this summer, next season will be yet another struggle on and off the pitch
Joint statement from the Aston Villa Shareholders Association and Villa Fans Combined

The statement from shareholders and fans expressed concerns that Villa may be heading towards another season of struggle.

"Doug Ellis told fans in the final match of the season programme against Sunderland that 'we are moving in the right direction'", the statement said.

"Does he mean in the direction of the Championship because that is where we are heading. Aston Villa should not be moving in any direction because we should already be there.

"After 22 years of Doug Ellis' 'guidance' we are so far away from being a top-10 club that the board have had to revert to telling everyone Villa are the 'kings of the Midlands'.

"That might be good enough for Ellis and our incumbent board but it isn't and never will be good enough for the fans, shareholders and the heritage of this fantastic club."

Ellis insisted, however, that he will not sell Villa to anyone he fears is only looking to asset-strip the club.

A 64million takeover bid from a consortium fronted by Irish property developers, the Comer Brothers, appears to have sunk.

If the right people come in and really want to take the club forward then I'll treat it very seriously
Aston Villa chairman Doug Ellis

But Ellis is adamant he is not asking an inflated price for the club.

Ellis said: "There is no way I will allow Aston Villa to go to someone who might asset-strip.

"It's a responsibility and I take it. It's on my head. But if the right people come in and really want to take the club forward then I'll treat it very seriously."

However, the fans' statement continued: "David O'Leary has managed to deflect a great deal of anger away from Ellis this season with his disastrous public relation statements and poor team performances.

"But what is he expected to achieve next season - if indeed he remains as our manager - if he has to sell from an already wafer-thin squad before he can buy?

"No matter how bad a job the manager has done this season the main finger of blame has to point at Doug Ellis."



SEE ALSO
Hughes backs O'Leary to stay on
10 May 06 |  Aston Villa
O'Leary gets transfer ultimatum
27 Apr 06 |  Aston Villa
Phillips takes heat off O'Leary
01 May 06 |  Aston Villa
Villa takeover almost ready to go
24 Dec 05 |  Aston Villa
Villa buy-out plan at vital stage
12 Jan 06 |  Aston Villa


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