The Birmingham Mail has called on Aston Villa chairman Doug Ellis to hurry up and sell the football club, following its embarassing defeat against Doncaster Rovers earlier this week.
In a scathing front page editorial, editor Steve Dyson outlined why, after an “atrocious season”, the chairman should “just go” – and take manager David O’Leary with him.
His thoughts were echoed by dozens of readers who e-mailed the paper following the Carling Cup defeat, and the Mail filled two whole pages with the comments.
Steve said Aston Villa had insulted fans who have paid thousands of pounds in recent years to watch them struggle and that, after nearly selling the club three times, Ellis should now seal the deal while it was still worth selling.
He wrote: “‘We can’t be bothered’, was the body language of the whole team as they lay down and allowed Doncaster to walk over them.
“That’s Doncaster Rovers of the old THIRD Division, by the way, position ninth in what is now League One. And they trounced the once mighty Villa, of the PREMIERSHIP, 3-0.
“Manager David O’Leary apparently called players together after the match to tell them how he felt “sick and gutted”. Join the club, David…”
He continued: “Yet there’s a stronger message that this historic failure spells out, and today we send that directly to chairman Doug Ellis’ desk.
“We may lash out at the manager and players, Doug, but surely it’s now time for you to take stock of your part in Villa’s atrocious season.
“You’ve led Villa for decades, Doug, and in that time you’ve put loads of effort and passion into building the club’s fabric and structure. We sincerely thank you for that.
“But, in truth, you should have stepped down a few years ago, and last night’s cock-up has reminded us all that you really shouldn’t hang around any longer.
“We know you’re in talks with potential buyers. Please don’t delay, nor haggle too much. Sell while you’ve got something worth selling. Don’t hang around interfering as a non-executive director. Just go now.
“And Doug, for God’s sake, please take O’Leary – your 13th manager – with you.”