Villa deny players are dissatisfied

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The Independent Online

Aston Villa have insisted reports of "dissatisfaction" within the club's playing staff are wide of the mark.

The club's head of media and communications, Phil Mepham, responded strongly to a statement, reportedly issued yesterday by the first-team squad which listed a series of alleged cutbacks, by claiming that several senior players had told him they had no knowledge of it.

Mepham said: "The chairman [Doug Ellis] is furious, because he has had no indication from any member of the playing or coaching staff of any dissatisfaction at the training ground. So this has come as a great surprise. Once the story broke, I spoke to several senior members of the first-team squad, all of whom had no knowledge of it and were surprised at its content. To suggest this is a collective statement is ridiculous."

Gordon Taylor, the Professional Footballers' Association chief executive said: "I hope there will be a coming together of the chairman and the players, the manager and supporters' representatives to clear the air."

"This is an indication that that needs to be done. The sale of the club has been talked about for such a long time and they feel they're not certain where the club is going."

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