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Last Updated: Monday, 17 July 2006, 18:41 GMT 19:41 UK
Villa team 'demand Ellis meeting'
Villa chairman Doug Ellis
Ellis has been Aston Villa chairman since 1982
Aston Villa manager David O'Leary says his players want to meet chairman Doug Ellis, as the row over alleged critical comments deepens.

"They wish to meet the chairman at his earliest convenience to discuss their concerns over issues raised at the weekend," O'Leary told Sky Sports News.

"It would be unwise for me to comment publicly until the outcome."

Villa are to investigate last week's publication of a statement allegedly on behalf of the squad, criticising Ellis.

Players will be spoken to in the inquiry, conducted by operations director Steve Stride and non-executive directors David Owen and Steven Kind.

The club says it will make no comment on the affair until the inquiry is complete.

A local newspaper published the alleged comments last week. The club said there was no proof such a statement existed.

Midfielder Lee Hendrie insisted the players were as confused as everyone else as to precisely what had gone on.

"We're in the dark," Hendrie told BBC News 24.

"A lot of the players don't know what's happening, and we're trying to find out. Hopefully it will be resolved.

"We've all had a chat in general about things, and we feel it's been blown out of proportion."

Ellis is out of the country so the players must wait until the 82-year-old returns to thrash out the affair with him face-to-face.

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