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By ESPN Staff

Lerner explains O'Neill exit

Aston Villa owner Randy Lerner admits he no longer "shared a common view" with departed manager Martin O'Neill on how to take the club forward.

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O'Neill is understood to have quit Villa after four years because he was not guaranteed all the money from the expected sale of James Milner to Manchester City to buy new players.

Lerner admitted at the end of last season he would prefer a 'sell-to-buy' policy after backing O'Neill financially for the previous three summers, but the American is adamant there has been no change in Villa's approach to building the club and being as competitive as possible.

Lerner insists the immediate priority is to resolve the Milner transfer and give support to caretaker manager Kevin MacDonald.

The Cleveland Browns owner, in a statement, said: "Having had some time to reflect on Martin leaving, I can say that our most immediate focus is supporting Kevin MacDonald and resolving the situation with Manchester City and James Milner.

"As for explaining why Martin left, I can say only that we no longer shared a common view as to how to move forward. To deal in greater detail would do little but cause additional distraction for the club as it faces imminent games and the clear priority of hiring a permanent manager.

"Finally, there have been no changes in our approach to building the club, aiming always to be as competitive as possible given our size and resources."

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