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 - 18th January 2005.Step Down Doug. Step Down Now.


Spokesman for VFC and Chairman of Aston Villa Shareholders Association Jonathan Fear said:

'Villa Fans Combined would like an explanation from Mr Ellis as to why he continues to take on the day-to-day tasks at Aston Villa having appointed a Chief Executive?

Following his failure to win the race for James Beattie, we feel the comments coming from the player reflect a major problem at Aston Villa. The problem is Mr Ellis. The impression this 80-year-old man leaves with a great many people is negative due to his condescending manner. Referring to England Internationals such as Beattie as a 'boy' will do nothing to attract them to this club, people need to be treated with respect. James Beattie stated: "I met with Mr Ellis and Mr O'Leary but they didn't send out the same vibes as I felt here."

Players used to jump through hoops to come to Aston Villa, we are now a down graded club where players see us as lacking ambition or as a stepping stone to something bigger. This shift has come about since Mr Ellis returned and won't change until he departs.

Mr Ellis is part of the old guard business wise, Mr Langham has vast experience with two blue chip companies and is well versed in the modern business practices. With such a capable man, why is he not at the helm? It is time for Mr Ellis to be more honest, something he hasn't been very keen on being since he arrived at Villa Park, and admit he won't allow anyone but himself to run this once mighty club. One of his latest quotes claimed only a minority of fans were against him 'and he knew who they were'! I find it hard to think of a more ridiculed or hated Chairman, ridiculed by former players, managers, the press, the fans and staff and yet he blindly continues thinking the majority support him. If Mr Ellis truly believes we are the minority, we ask him to put it to the vote, if he is proved right (sic) we will step down immediately.

We call on Mr Ellis to step aside and allow Mr Langham to handle all players' negotiations and permit him to fulfil the role of being a Chief Executive. Mr Ellis, you are too old, you are too out of touch and you are too disliked to take this fantastic club forward, for the sake of everyone involved, hire a merchant bank to attract investors, become an honouree figure if you wish, and leave a legacy for Aston Villa. If he doesn't feel qualified in bringing forward investment, then VFC in combination with the Shareholders Association will happily hire a merchant bank to do the job. That is a genuine offer. We also call on any interested parties to contact us; the fans would unite behind a genuine bid.

If not we will continue to lose good staff and hover around our average league position of 10th. An average spend of between 4-6million does not buy a place in the Champions league, nor does lying about the amounts spent achieve anything other than animosity.

David O'Leary is an ambitious manager, how long do we really expect him to stay with his hands tied behind his back, new contract or not? The same can be said for Mr Langham. If they are continually blocked or frustrated then I fear they will join a long list of previous staff members who give up 'banging their heads against a brick wall'. The Berlin Wall was removed; Villa fans now have to pray for the day the Ellis wall crumbles as it stands in the way of a potentially huge club.

As ever VFC give the manager and players 100% support.
For some while now Villa fans have been asking what they can do to make a difference and how they can express their anger and betrayal at the way that the club is being run. Things have certainly come to a head during the transfer window where instead of players being bought we have been told that we can no longer compete with even the mid table teams.

Ask yourselves, after 22 years and many protestations that Mr Ellis is a top businessman, how come we don't have any funds? What has happened to the profits? Where is the quality squad? Why are we being out bid by the likes of Birmingham City and Charlton? Where is the legacy for future generations? And why have we got a man who will be 81 years old this year still ruling Villa and casting such a huge shadow over Villa Park? Why does this man continually spurn outside investment? Why are Villa run more like a corner shop than the giants they should be?

So we call on all Villa fans to take two minutes to send Mr Ellis a letter expressing their concern at the way the club is run and asking for him to actively seek new investors to hand the club over to. He must know in his heart of hearts it is time, now you tell him.

Keep all letters non abusive and send to Mr Ellis, Aston Villa PLC, Villa Park, Aston, Birmingham, B6 6HE. If you have problems writing from abroad, send an email to info@villafc.com and we will pass on your letters.

Please pass this request on to all forums, fellow Villa fans and anyone who has an interest in Aston Villa.



ENDS


Contacts:
info@villafc.com
enquiries@sharevilla.co.uk
www.sharevilla.co.uk


info@villafc.com

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Reaction from the first VFC meeting:
Paul's response: Remember the day - the 24th of May.

Shareholders Association Press Releases:
10th May 2004: Doug in disrepute
5th May 2004: Shareholders Association Appointments

Previous VFC Press Releases:
8th August 2004: Lacking in Confidence
31st July 2004: Ellis in downsizing strategy shock!
17th June 2004: Doug it's not working.
18th May 2004: DOL - Thanks. HDE - No thank you...
6th April 2004: Nice to see you Bruce?
25th March 2004: Doug Rejects Salvation as Opportunity Knocks
16th February 2004: Doug Running Scared
30th January 2004: Money to burn???
9th January 2004: Birthday Wishes
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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