Aston Villa to appoint McLeish as manager on Friday

IN ASSOCIATION WITH

Page last updated at 22:28 GMT, Thursday, 16 June 2011 23:28 UK

Advertisement

Villa fans protest against McLeish

Aston Villa are set to appoint Alex McLeish as their new manager on Friday morning after concluding lengthy talks, BBC Sport understands.

It was expected the announcement would happen on Thursday but the decision has now been put back a day with just the formalities to be completed.

McLeish resigned as manager of local rivals Birmingham City on Sunday.

City are expected to pursue a compensation claim against Villa's approach of their former manager.

Blues had initially demanded £5.4m to cover the remaining two-and-a-quarter years of McLeish's contract.

The Scot's imminent appointment has not been met with approval from some Villa fans with about 500 fans gathered outside Villa Park on Wednesday to protest.

"They gathered at North Stand just before 1700 BST then they moved onto Holte End," said BBC 5 live reporter Phil Mackie. "At 1900 BST they moved back to North Stand, broke through gates and sat on steps. It was fairly good-natured."

McLeish left his holiday in Corsica and returned to England to hold talks with Lerner on Wednesday, with a source at Villa telling the Press Association that they had been positive and productive.

On Tuesday, Villa released a statement which said: "The club understands that Alex McLeish is a free agent. We therefore intend to interview him imminently."

Responding to Villa's announcement, Birmingham released their own statement, accusing their neighbours of "tapping up" McLeish.

The 52-year-old Scot resigned less than one month after narrowly missing out on securing the club's Premier League status.

ALEX McLEISH'S CAREER

  • Joined Aberdeen in 1976
  • Spent 15 years with the Dons, playing under Sir Alex Ferguson
  • Won 77 caps for Scotland
  • Managed Motherwell, Hibs and Rangers in Scotland
  • Guided Gers to domestic treble in 2003
  • Became Scotland manager in January 2007, beating France 1-0 in Paris later that year
  • Joined Birmingham in November 2007, saw them relegated in 2008 but brought them back at the first attempt
  • Guided Birmingham to Carling Cup triumph in February 2011, but Blues were relegated on final day of the season

Blues are unhappy with Villa's decision to meet their former boss, describing their rival's announcement to proceed with an interview was "a contempt of Premier League and FA rules".

"The club feel this will taint football and give the game and the footballing authorities a bad name if this is allowed to materialise," added the Birmingham statement.

"We will lodge a formal complaint as there is now not the slightest doubt remaining about this tap-up attempt.

"This conduct, if condoned, will open up floodgates and set a very bad precedent. It is also an attack against the intelligence and integrity of not only the Villa fans, but most importantly our fans who are badly let down after relegation."

However, Villa, who have been without a permanent boss since the end of April when Gerard Houllier suffered ill health, believe they have taken fans' feelings into account.

"In deciding to interview McLeish, the board has taken his tenure at our local rivals and the strong emotions associated with this very seriously," the Villa statement added.

On 10 June, Wigan manager Roberto Martinez turned down the chance to manage Villa, having been given permission to talk to the Midlands outfit by his club.

Steve McClaren, now in charge at Nottingham Forest, and former Fulham boss Mark Hughes are two others who have been linked with the position.

Print Sponsor

Related links

bbc.co.uk navigation

BBC © 2011

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

TOP NEWS FRONT PAGE STORIES