Aston Villa chief executive Paul Faulkner laments 'worst year in a generation'
Tuesday 15 May 2012
Aston Villa's season verged on the disastrous, according to chief executive Paul Faulkner.
Manager Alex McLeish was sacked yesterday after Villa finished 16th, just two points above the Barclays Premier League relegation zone.
It was the club's worst league finish in six years and their lowest points total in 42 years.
"I suppose a disaster would have been getting relegated but this was too close for comfort," Faulkner told BBC Radio Five Live.
McLeish lasted just one season, and was up against it from the start having previously worked for Villa's bitter rivals Birmingham - who he took down last year.
But Faulkner felt it was performances on the pitch which meant McLeish never won over his critics.
"It is all connected to results, it all goes hand in hand," he added.
"I think the fans' feelings were because of our results, which were not good enough.
"Like all fans of any club they were going to make their feelings known.
"This is the worst year that Villa has had in a generation. There are a whole group of fans who have never known it this bad for Villa so I am not surprised (by their reaction) at all."
Norwich manager Paul Lambert has been linked with the vacancy, as has Wigan boss Roberto Martinez while former Wolves manager Mick McCarthy has emerged as the favourite with some bookmakers.
Faulkner accepts Villa got it wrong in appointing McLeish as Gerard Houllier's successor after the Frenchman left the club on health grounds last summer.
"It's using hindsight. We've had to make the change with Alex now and you're constantly evaluating yourselves," Faulkner added.
"The season didn't go the way we would have wanted and we have to look for reasons why that may be.
"If we were happy with mediocrity or a season like this, then we wouldn't be making changes."
Faulkner defended the club's recruitment methods as they go in search of their fourth manager in less than two years, after Martin O'Neill left in August 2010 having guided Villa to a top-six place three seasons running.
"It's a slightly unfair statistic because, in those two years, one manager resigned and one had significant health problems and this season didn't go as we had planned but the key for us is moving forward," he said.
"The key is making the right decision this time and finding a good manager that is going to reinvigorate Aston Villa.
"We look to the future and we desperately want some stability here.
"We want someone here for a long period of time to build their team, their squad to knit into our club and that's what we're searching for."
Latest in Sport
Radamel Falcao exclusive: Forward says joining Manchester United is a 'dream come true'
Arsenal are 'short of greatness' - so take a gamble in the transfer market, urges Terry Venables
Arsenal transfer news: Ray Parlour urges Arsene Wenger to make late move for Edinson Cavani
WWE Raw preview: Will John Cena continue to defy the threat of Brock Lesnar?
Petr Cech transfer latest: Chelsea goalkeeper posts cryptic tweet amid exit talk
- 1 Al Pacino on suffering from depression: 'It can last and it's terrifying'
- 2 Half of young women unable to ‘locate vagina’ and 65% find it difficult to say the word
- 3 Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
- 4 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 5 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
Ashya King: 'Cruel NHS has not given us the treatment we need', says father of five-year-old with brain tumour who fled to Spain