O'Leary denies claims of rift with Ellis over summer spending

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The Independent Football

The Aston Villa manager, David O'Leary, claimed there is no rift with his chairman, Doug Ellis - despite the Aston Villa manager making public his plans for a summer spending spree.

The Aston Villa manager, David O'Leary, claimed there is no rift with his chairman, Doug Ellis - despite the Aston Villa manager making public his plans for a summer spending spree.

O'Leary revealed earlier in the month that he had been given "significant funds" to bring in four quality players for next season. Ellis was reported to be upset at these revelations, and had been quoted as saying: "The likes of Freddy Shepherd at Newcastle and Everton's Bill Kenwright are laughing - they cannot believe it."

But O'Leary said yesterday that he had the full backing of the Villa chairman in announcing the news. "I can state categorically that there is no rift between myself and the chairman and our relationship is fine," O'Leary said. "It was the decision of the chairman and the board that I made public that I will have money to spend in the summer - significant funds - ahead of our recent game at Newcastle.

"It is wrong to suggest there is a problem between myself and the chairman because of this. I never disclosed the figure to the media that I will have available to spend and I can't stop them speculating.

"Like I've said before, I welcome the fact I will have money to spend, because the squad does need strengthening and I will be looking to bring in quality players."

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