Supporters and shareholders of Aston Villa have joined together to fight what they see as the “endless cycle of under-achievement” their club has suffered for the past 20 years.

Press Release - 9th January 2004.Happy Birthday Mr Presidenté

VFC would like to wish Mr Ellis a happy 80th birthday and a long and happy retirement but, whilst he insists on remaining in charge and holding Aston Villa back 15 years past his retirement age, we can’t. VFC may send a cake as a birthday offering to Mr Ellis, the cake would be in the shape of the European Cup as this will be the closest Mr Ellis will get to such a trophy due to the unprofessional and dictatorial way he runs Aston Villa.

Mr Ellis said in the Fulham programme that he is ‘determined to provide Villa fans with a brighter future. Stick with us and help us achieve our goal’. Yet David O’Leary’s stated aim this season is simply ‘survival’. That is the depths to which Mr Ellis has taken our once great club. When Mr Ellis took over we were European Champions with around £1million in debts. Last season we narrowly avoided relegation and had an operating loss of £11.6 million.

The question has to be why the fans should ‘stick’ with another minute of his self serving leadership? Especially after he has repeatedly tried to re-write history. He recently claimed to have put money into the club yet no figures were given. Examination of the plc accounts completely contradicts his vague assertion. Mr Ellis has in fact benefitted to a total of approximately £15million from the shares he originally bought from Mr Bendall (for approx £460 000) including over £8million in both remuneration and cash proceeds from share sales. Not exactly the clubs saviour if you view the figures is he?

It is also important to note that he was only a part of a consortium in 1968. An extract from Mr Ellis’ autobiography names Pat Matthews as the key to the consortium. Mr Ellis was not the leading light; a fact he seems to have conveniently forgotten along with his promise never to be the majority shareholder and never to allow just one man to run the club. In fact, he seems to be having many problems with his memory of late, maybe his age is catching up with him? It certainly concerns VFC that a man capable of twisting the truth so much is in charge of our club.

VFC echoes the views of club hero Dennis Mortimer who has said of Mr Ellis ‘He has made a fortune out of Aston Villa and given precious little back in return’. ‘The whole scenario is one of decline and decay….all Ellis knows is how to cling to his own job come what may.’ ‘His mere presence is a hammer blow against any hope of progress…Doug Ellis is a dictator, whose command of Aston Villa is to the detriment of every single soul connected with the club’. ‘Most people in his situation would retire gracefully, and arrange an orderly hand over, but Ellis hasn’t got the good sense to do that, proclaiming he will only ever leave when they carry him out in a wooden box. How self centered is that? With Ellis it is always me, me, me.’

Mr Ellis has stated that he is a great believer in never retiring as he thinks you live longer keeping the brain active. This clearly illustrates that he is not thinking about what is best for the club, just what is best for himself.

Mr Ellis has also made it clear that he may step down as chief executive if they can find the right man. VFC can only assume that the right man will have to be proficient in saying the word yes as that is the only word that Mr Ellis will accept. Brian Little, Graham Taylor, John Gregory and even the executor of his will Mark Ansell have all found it impossible to work with him, why should we believe that any future appointment will be any different? And with the amount of employees leaving by ‘mutual consent’ or being sacked, how can the fans and shareholders have faith in this board to appoint the right man?

It is time for him to actively seek new investment in the club by employing a merchant bank to attract the quality of personal so desperately required, not to ‘tweak’ his closed shop board. With investment desperately needed in the summer to replace the players coming out of contract what better time to hand over the reigns? What has Mr Ellis got to lose in attracting new investment? What have Aston Villa got to gain by attracting new investment? The fans are tired and weary of the wasted seasons and despite a very welcome recent up turn in results, the fans are still voting with their feet. If only Mr Ellis would do the same.

VFC maintain that Mr Stride as the only other remaining executive director and Mr Hales, Mr Owen and Mr P Ellis as non executive directors, have all failed to have any influence on the dictatorial approach of our chief executive and chairman and should stand down with immediate effect.


Jonathan Fear
Navid Nazir


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Reaction from first meeting:
Paul's response: Remember the day - the 24th of May.
Previous Press Releases:
3rd December 2003: Ellis In Blunderland
25th November 2003: Ellis, we're coming
20th November 2003: Situation Vacant
11th November 2003: Time for Action
27th October 2003: The Decline Deepens
9th September 2003: When VFC met Doug
9th August 2003: Open Season
1st August 2003: Annual Results - Hang Your Heads In Shame!!!
27th July 2003: Sell, Sell, Bye Bye - Is there a takeover in the wings?
11th July 2003: Football Fans Census - Villa Fans Survey
26th June 2003: Second Rally - The Hodgson Report
18th June 2003: Fans Testimonial for Ian Taylor and Alan Wright
6th June 2003: Second meeting announced.
20th May 2003: New Manager, same core problems.
20th May 2003: Rally 24th May - Update.
18th May 2003: Potential investors identifed - Report commissioned.
14th May 2003: GT Resigns. The Board Must Go Now.
12th May 2003: Another wasted season, another opportunity missed.
4th May 2003: VFC Update - The right moment?
10th April 2003: Treffick Shareholding, Uncertainty and the Fear.
4th April 2003: Club for Sale - Time For Change.

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