English Premiership

CEO quits struggling Villa

Aston Villa up for sale. Photograph: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
Aston Villa up for sale. Photograph: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
Mike Hewitt

London - Tom Fox has resigned as Aston Villa chief executive, the struggling Premier League club announced on Thursday.

Fox joined Villa in August 2014 after leaving his role as chief commercial officer at Arsenal, but cited a change in his role following a board restructuring at Villa Park for his decision to step down.

The American leaves with Villa, nine points from safety with eight matches remaining, destined for relegation and second tier action for the first time since 1988.

"Joining Aston Villa was a huge privilege for me and, while I'm bitterly disappointed by results this season, watching the club compete at Wembley in the FA Cup final last year is a memory I'll cherish," Fox said in a statement on Villa's website.

"Regarding my resignation, the owner made it very clear last summer that he and I would seek to recruit a board that would put the club in a stronger position in the event that a sale didn't happen.

"As the board has taken shape, however, it has become clear that my role also has changed. While I am supportive of where the board is trying to take the club, it is my feeling that, given the changes they are making, it makes sense for me to seek another challenge."

Villa chairman Steve Hollis has been conducting an internal review at the Premier League's bottom club and former Football Association chairman David Bernstein was appointed to the board last week, with ex-Villa manager Brian Little an advisor.

Sporting director Hendrik Almstadt left the club on Tuesday as the shake-up continued.

Hollis, who has only been at the club for two months, will become executive chairman while a search is conducted for Fox's permanent replacement.

"While the results this season have been disappointing, he and his team have worked hard to put in place many changes necessary to put the club on a more sustainable path for the future," Hollis said.

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