In an unexpected development, Villa have announced the return of former player and manager Brian Little to the club. Additionally, David Bernstein, former Manchester City & FA Chairman, takes up a position on the board of directors.
Little who as a player joined the club as it negotiated its way back from the old Third Division in the 1970′s, brings a previously missing footballing knowledge of both football and crucially Aston Villa to the hierarchy.
Little’s playing experience, 240 games (60 goals) at Villa alone, is complimented by a long and varied managerial career. He managed Villa to safety from the foot of the Premier League in 1995 & achieved success with a League Cup trophy with a convincing 3-0 defeat of Leeds at Wembley.
Out of day to day team affairs since 2009, he had been in post as the Director of Football at Jersey’s FA since 2014 before transferring to the manager’s role in the New Year. It is unclear as to whether he intends to retain this position in light of his new role at Villa Park.
David Bernstein officially takes up a position on the board of directors and comes with strong background geared towards the type of turnaround a club like ours may face. With extensive experience at both the Football Association and at Man City he comes with a wealth of footballing know-how.
Similarly to Little, Bernstein has first hand experience of guiding a club back from the third tier, steering Man City back to the top flight from the doldrums before their eventual big money takeover.
The swift and targeted appointments are encouraging sings of Chairman Steve Hollis’ efforts to improve the clubs experience, quality and depth in terms of decision making. Given David Bernstein’s proven acumen in respect of commercial success, it will be intriguing to see whether CEO Tom Fox is now deemed surplus to requirements.
Relive Aston Villa beating Leeds United 3-0 in the League Cup Final at Wembley in 1996. Goals from Milosevic, Yorke & Taylor in the side managed by Brian Little: