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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jul 17, 2006

'Concerned' Villa players request Ellis meeting

Aston Villa's players have requested a meeting with chairman Doug Ellis, according to a statement.

Villa responded on Saturday to a statement issued the day before, presented as being from first team players, detailing concerns over alleged cost cutting.

Villa head of media and communications Phil Mepham revealed on Saturday that several senior Villa players had no knowledge of the statement and that Ellis was 'furious' about the situation.

Now, manager David O'Leary has revealed the players are seeking talks with Ellis.

'The players wish to meet the chairman at his earliest convenience to discuss their concerns over issues that were raised at the weekend,' said O'Leary in a statement to Sky Sports News.

'My own position is that I feel it would be unwise for me to comment publicly until the outcome of the meeting, and I shall continue to concentrate on the club's pre-season preparations.'

The club, meanwhile, have confirmed they are to hold 'an internal inquiry' into what they describe as 'the circumstances surrounding the recent publication of a so-called player statement which was allegedly supported by the entire first-team squad.'

The inquiry panel will consist of operations director Steve Stride and non-executive directors David Owen and Steven Kind.

A statement on the club website, www.avfc.co.uk, added: 'The inquiry intends to establish the facts surrounding the events of recent days and this will include meetings with the players.

'There will be no further comment from the club until the inquiry is completed.'

Midfielder Lee Hendrie has confirmed that players were eager to speak with Ellis.

Following training today, Hendrie said: 'We're in the dark. A lot of the players don't know what's happening, and we're trying to find out. Hopefully it will be resolved.

'We've all had a chat in general about things, and we feel it's been blown out of proportion.

'We don't know what the conclusion is, but we're going to speak to the chairman about stuff. There are a few players going to sort things out.'

When asked to the mood in the camp, Hendrie told Sky Sports News: 'It is the same as usual. Everybody seems upbeat about everything. Training's been good, and not a lot has really gone wrong.'

Hendrie, though, refused to be drawn on whether there was any dismay among the players regarding O'Leary's reported lack of spending power.

'I'd rather not get involved,' insisted Hendrie. 'Where transfers are concerned that's for the gaffer and chairman to sort things out.'

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