Villa Confirm Intent to Interview McLeish in Club Statement
News that the majority of Villa fans didn’t want confirmed has been in the last hour after the club released an official statement signalling their intent to interview former Birmingham boss Alex McLeish immediately. Links to the Blues boss who resigned earlier this week have enraged many of the Villa and bluenose fans after the Scot quit his post via email after seeing the side relegated last season. If Villa do appoint McLeish they will need to fork out £5.4m in compensation if the signing goes through immediately, a fee that would drop to £3m from July 1.
This is a message to the fans of Aston Villa.
The Club has been reluctant to elaborate publicly on our search for a new manager and, in particular, to confirm or deny our interest in specific candidates.
This is not a new policy, indeed it is the approach that we have taken both in regard to managerial prospects, and potential player signings.
The Club understands that Alex McLeish is a free agent. We therefore intend to interview him imminently in order to make a decision regarding his candidacy to become Villa manager.
From the beginning of our search, we have set out criteria based on proven Premier League experience, compelling leadership, an ethic for hard work and, most importantly, sharing our vision for Aston Villa as we know that without a shared vision any appointment, however attractive, will ultimately fail.
Since 2006 we have approached our custodianship of Villa based on a broad-based strategy of significant investment to improve the squad, the training ground and Villa Park. We feel it is essential to select a manager who understands and supports our strategy for the Club to grow and to be sustainable. Otherwise, the natural tensions and competitive pressures that are involved with every season will ultimately cause instability and make continuity impossible.
We would, however, like to emphasise that in deciding to interview Alex McLeish, the Board has taken his tenure at our local rivals and the strong emotions associated with this very seriously.
We are determined, still, not to allow that three-and-a-half year post to disqualify him should he be the best candidate for the role of Aston Villa manager.
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