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Hollis in-depth on Little, Bernstein, King, Fox, our iconic status and fan passion

Garde: Our Young Lions can offer "good surprises" for the future Club statement: New Football Board/Head of Football Operations
Hollis in-depth on Little, Bernstein, King, Fox, our iconic status and fan passion

Steve Hollis, our Chairman, today spoke to us about the past, present and future of Aston Villa.

His views are below.

On the work he's been doing…

I have said before that the business model is broken.

The work I have started - and fortunately I have been joined by some very good Board colleagues - we are taking decisive action as we go along to address the things that are actually wrong in the model itself.

On the arrival of David Bernstein…

I didn't know David before. I met him and explained the journey the Board was on and he said 'look I want to be part of it.'

It took about half an hour over a pleasant lunch. Now David is fully engaged.

If you look at David's history, he has a distinguished business career.

He ran Man City for several years. He has had a career with the FA.

I think Aston Villa is in really good shape with a breadth of talent and we now need to do the things we need to do to get the Club back to where it needs to be.

On Mervyn King joining…

We have one of the planet's leading bankers who knows everything about Villa. He's a Villa nut!

I have seen him chat with the players and talk through moves and goals from the past.

They look at this gentleman with a suit and he just commands their respect.

He's a great addition to the Club and Board.

Little

On Brian Little returning…

If you look at Brian Little, his track record at the Club goes back over 40 years.

He knows this place inside-out. He is so well respected by the Villa family and comes here with a huge knowledge around football - across the game.

He's a great addition.

When I first met Brian and asked if he'd be interested, he said 'When do I start?' It was as quick as that.

The positive side and the thing we must focus on is that there's so much warmth and enthusiasm and support to try and make this Club a great Club again.

On Tom Fox departure…

Tom said himself in the press release that the decision was made based on the model that is now changing.

The model that Tom led has changed as we've built a new Board.

Tom came to the decision that actually that model wasn't something he wanted to work with. So he decided to step down.

On Hendrik Almstadt leaving…

Recognise, again, that we are changing the model.

Hendrik's role under the old model worked in that model - in the new model we're going to put much more focus around building football gravitas through the Board into the football side of the business.

Hollis

On his understanding of fan unhappiness…

The thing I have learnt with Aston Villa fans is that there's so much passion - they genuinely, genuinely care.

When you see what they have had to put up with over the past few years, you can understand the raw emotion that comes out.

I want us all to work together and get behind the team.

I would ask them 'please get behind us, work with us, you're an important part of this journey.'

We do need to reach out more to our supporters and share with them the journey that we're now on.

These are not easy times. We have made mistakes over the past few years. Let's learn from those.

We now look forward and start this Club on an upward curve.

On the plan going-forward…

The plan is that whatever division we're in next season, we will have a much better decision-making machine.

If we are in the Championship we will be one of the biggest clubs in the Championship. We will certainly have the strongest balance sheet in the Championship.

We will be in the best position to actually, as I have said before, use that as the opportunity to rebuild.

We will have the best chance of actually bouncing back if we make the right decisions.

If we are still in the Premier League there is a plan that addresses the issues so hopefully we don't go through another round of bouncing around at the bottom next season.

We are scenario-planning. Whatever happens to this place, we have the financials covered and we are building the business plans and strategies so we can best serve whatever division this club is in next season.

Garde

On Rémi Garde…

Rémi is fully engaged. He is spending a lot of time with Mervyn and David and working with Brian.

I am leaving it to the football side of the Board to really work through what is going to work.

When they come up with their recommendations, which should be in the next week or so, we will share more.

On Villa as an institution…

Aston Villa is an iconic asset within the greater Birmingham conurbation.

If we get it right - and we're determined to - this will be a global brand in a city that is going through one of the biggest regenerations in the whole of the UK.

Birmingham is in a renaissance, it's a city on the move.

What we need is the full package - we need an Aston Villa which is living up to the iconic status that it can truly command within that renaissance.

By @AVFCOfficial 18th March 2016