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Last Updated: Thursday, 30 November 2006, 15:31 GMT
Doug Ellis reveals
Doug Ellis
Ellis still has an office at Villa Park
Doug Ellis stepped down from the helm of Aston Villa three months ago, having been chairman in two stints, the first of which began back in 1968.

The 82-year-old is now an honorary president and still has seats in the directors' box at Villa Park.

In an exclusive interview with BBC Radio Five Live, Ellis reveals how he still misses running the club.

But he adds: "I'm still claret and blue through and through. I'm just desperate for us to win."

ON NEW MANAGER MARTIN O'NEILL

I congratulate Martin O'Neill. He's done a great job since he arrived. Thank God I signed him before I left.

I thought I was pretty good at negotiating but by God he's pretty good, too. I think the pair of us together would have been brilliant on negotiating. Martin and I, in my view, would have worked very well.

The majority of supporters - if you read the letters that are coming in - are praising me for taking Martin on here.

ON NO LONGER RUNNING ASTON VILLA

I am missing it. I'm not involved day to day as I have been for the last 35 years.

I'm at Randy Lerner's disposal at any time. He has phoned me from Cleveland. If I can help I'm there because I'm still an Aston Villa man.

I've made a point on not interfering and not getting in the way ever since Randy took over.

I just want to make sure he feels he's taken the club over - let him run it his way.

ON THE PROTESTS AGAINST HIM BY VILLA FANS

Aston Villa fans protest against Doug Ellis
Aston Villa fans often protested against Ellis

I've suffered with the "Ellis Out" many times.

Some people ask me 'Does it hurt?' Of course it hurts, knowing what I've been doing for the club.

People think that I've not put anything into it. I can tell you many situations when I've put money and many other things into it.

ON WHETHER RECRUITING RANDY LERNER OR MARTIN O'NEILL IS HIS GREATEST LEGACY TO VILLA

It's a combination of both but I think the legacy is also about the youth schemes that I've had through all of my period.

I've said I'd rather breed than buy. I'd rather get local boys to join Aston Villa. I've put a lot of money into the youth scheme.

I know people say are we wrong in having foreign players coming? I think foreign players have improved the general standard of football in the Premier League but nevertheless there should be a balance.

And the balance in my view should be in favour of English-bred.

HIS BIGGEST MANAGERIAL MISTAKE

I hate quoting names, believe me, but Billy McNeill (1986-1987) was a mistake. He took two teams down - Manchester City and us - the same year. Perhaps that was a mistake.



SEE ALSO
End of Ellis era
19 Sep 06 |  Aston Villa
Lerner seals majority Villa share
25 Aug 06 |  Aston Villa
Lerner agrees takeover of Villa
14 Aug 06 |  Aston Villa


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