Villa fans planning red card reception for chairman Ellis

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The Independent Football

Aston Villa fans are planning a "Show Doug The Red Card" protest against the club chairman Doug Ellis during Saturday's home Premiership match with Middlesbrough.

Aston Villa fans are planning a "Show Doug The Red Card" protest against the club chairman Doug Ellis during Saturday's home Premiership match with Middlesbrough.

Villa Fans Combined (VFC) will be handing out 20,000 red cards prior to the game for supporters to hold up to demonstrate that they "have had enough of the mediocrity, underachievement and lack of backing given to the managers of the club over the past 22 years".

VFC believe Ellis has gone back on his word to make funds available for strengthening the squad and will attempt to make their feelings known to a wider audience via a game being televised live at lunchtime. A spokesman Jonathan Fear claimed: "Spending on players after sales amounts to between £4-6m per season, not the £109m total Mr Ellis claims.

"The fans have seen the last three managers walk out. They have heard Graham Taylor state that: 'There are fundamental problems at Aston Villa, a club run by Doug Ellis, for Doug Ellis and on behalf of Doug Ellis'.

"John Gregory, had stated Ellis is 'stuck in a time warp, talking big while acting small'.

"VFC recognise the club can't keep changing the manager while retaining a chairman who is in place solely for his own interests.

"We all have our own opinions on particular managers but it should be clear to all fans that no matter who is running the team there is one common factor at the club holding it back.

"The fans have seen the club again fail to back the manager in signing players despite promises to that effect in the summer when Mr Ellis said 'we're not finished, I'll have the last laugh' only for no further players to be bought. The fans aren't laughing Doug.

"VFC are calling for fans to get behind the team during the game, but prior to kick-off to hold up their red cards to show they are desperate for Aston Villa to succeed and that we all see Ellis and success as incompatible.

"VFC want Mr Ellis to actively seek new investment and to recognise that after 22 years of under-achievement he must go to allow the club to move forward."

David O'Leary has admitted it will be the end of the season before Aston Villa see the best of Eric Djemba-Djemba, who signed from Manchester United in January.

"He's not had a lot of games and needs to be brought up to a constant match tempo," the Villa manager said. "I think we will start seeing the best of him at the end of this season and then next season."

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