Aston Villa are in their worst "crisis" for decades, according to Steven Hollis, the club's new chairman. The Birmingham business leader has acknowledged that the relegation-threatened club find themselves in a desperate scenario.
Villa are bottom of the Premier League and 10 points away from safety. Hollis confirmed manager Remi Garde has money to spend in the January transfer window should he choose to but he also insisted it would not solve the club's deep-rooted troubles. "In football terms, this is a crisis," he told the BBC. "This is the worst position this club has been in for many a decade."
Hollis also defended the record of the club's American owner Randy Lerner, who has spent more than £200m ($284.7m) on new players since he bought Villa in 2006. The US-based owner announced in 2015 that he was looking to sell the club, while he decided to relinquish his position as chairman earlier in January.
"Randy has actually put more than £200m in player signings, new money, coming into this over the last 10 years," Hollis explained. But the chairman admitted that the high turnover of managers meant it was difficult to achieve and sustain any success. "Five different managers in five seasons. How can new players coming in or existing players hired by the previous manager know what the game plan is?"
Garde, 49, replaced Tim Sherwood as the Villa manager in November 2015. But the club still faces the threat of being demoted to the Championship, having won just twice in 22 Premier League games.