Villa Manager Twice Told Chairman to Sack Him

Published: 13th February 2015 08:32 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th February 2015 08:32 AM   |  A+A-

Paul_Lambert_AP

Paul Lambert told Aston Villa chairman Randy Lerner to sack him twice this season before he was finally dismissed on Wednesday by telephone.

Lambert's frustration at working with a limited budget became so severe that he invited Lerner to end his tenure once in the summer and again earlier this year.

The Daily Telegraph has discovered that Lambert warned Villa's owner that the club were heading for relegation operating under such financial restrictions, but he was convinced to fight on as manager. The 45-year-old then suffered the indignity of being sacked over the phone, less than 24 hours after the 2-0 defeat at Hull.

He is understood to have been shocked and bitterly disappointed after receiving a call from chief executive Tom Fox informing him he was to be dismissed after 21/2 years.

His disappointment was reflected in his statement issued by the League Managers' Association, which pointedly did not mention Fox, and it is believed Lambert felt he deserved more respect for the job he had done under difficult circumstances.

Fox, who was appointed by Lerner in August, is spearheading the search for a successor and is determined to to make an appointment after Sunday's FA Cup tie against Leicester.

Villa could make a short-term appointment until the summer, with Tim Sherwood and Glenn Hoddle under consideration.

Jurgen Klinsmann, the United States national team head coach, has been discussed but is more likely to be a target in the summer if Villa avoid relegation. Villa want to make an appointment before the

league game against Stoke a week tomorrow.

Lerner broke his silence last night. "Following several brutally challenging years at Villa, Paul Lambert arrived with a fresh view and a proven style and track record," he said in a statement. "It was our hope, and belief, that Aston Villa would find its footing and strengthen during Paul's tenure with the club.

"Adding players and investing in the squad over the last three years has strengthened Villa, and it is our hope that given the quality, leadership and team spirit at Bodymoor Heath that we can rise to the occasion for the rest of the season. I want very much to thank Paul for his commitment to me personally, and to Villa."

Lambert's LMA statement read: "My initial remit was to conduct a massive overhaul of the playing squad, lower the overall wage structure of the

playing staff and achieve this whilst keeping the club in the Premier League.

"When I came on board... Randy Lerner warned me that I was embarking on the toughest challenge of my working life and he was not wrong."."

Lambert is expected to receive around pounds 2?million.

First-team coach Scott Marshall and goalkeeping coach Andy Marshall will take charge against Leicester.

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