Former Aston Villa owner Doug Ellis says he is "saddened" by Martin O'Neill's decision to quit as manager of the club.
O'Neill walked away from Villa on Monday, amid rumours that he had fallen out with current owner Randy Lerner about transfer policy.
Ellis, now a life president at Villa Park, told Sky Sports News: "I was not entirely surprised by Martin's resignation although I was disappointed by the timing of it. I'm saddened. I think the supporters will be saddened - on the whole.
"Martin has done a very good job for Villa and I'm glad I appointed him. It is just a pity it has been done at this particular time.
"Never forget the club is bigger than any one man, whoever it is. The club will continue and, in Randy Lerner, Aston Villa have a very good chairman (owner). I'm delighted I chose him in comparison to the four other predators who were trying to buy the club.
"I know that Randy Lerner will find a successor and I hope all the supporters will back him and chief executive Paul Faulkner in finding the best possible man for the job.''