Gerard Houllier appointed Villa manager
Mr. Houllier has been technical director of French football, a position he previously held when instrumental in France winning the World Cup in 1998.
He is a former manager of Lens, Paris St Germain, Liverpool and Lyon and has won three French championships and a unique treble in the League Cup, FA Cup and Uefa Cup in 2001 with Liverpool.
One of the key architects of Clairefontaine, the French national association football centre regarded as one of the finest football academies in the world, his wealth of experience in all aspects of the game and his stature and reputation internationally made him an excellent choice to manage Aston Villa.
"Two of the key qualities which we identified as being of crucial importance in our search for the new manager were experience of managing in the Premier League and a strategy for building on the existing strengths in our current squad, and Gerard Houllier comfortably satisfies these criteria," said Paul Faulkner, chief executive of Aston Villa Football Club.
"In fact, he stands out as a football man who understands the ethos of our Club and shares our core values.
"We look forward to working with Gerard and supporting him and we ask our supporters to get behind the new manager and the team as we look to build on the progress we have made over the past four years in all areas of the Club."
Gerard Houllier said: "I am very happy and proud to join this great and historic club.
"It was a very difficult decision for me to leave the FFF [French Football Federation] but I could not turn down the opportunity to manage a club whose approach, both on and off the pitch, I have long admired.
"Aston Villa is one of England's biggest clubs and has an amazing set of fans. This is a tremendous challenge and one I am very much looking forward to taking on."
The Club will confirm details of a press conference to follow in due course.