Aston Villa have taken the first step in addressing the systemic issues that have led to this absolute disaster of a season. Hendrik Almstadt, hired as sporting director of the club by CEO Tom Fox, has left Aston Villa by "mutual consent." The official statement is short enough to justify putting the whole thing here:
Aston Villa Football Club can confirm that Sporting Director, Hendrik Almstadt, has left the Club by mutual consent with immediate effect.
As part of the Board's continuing assessment of Bodymoor Heath it intends to conduct a thorough recruitment process to find a replacement.
His tenure at Villa Park lasted a mere eight months, and his departure leaves a sour taste at the club. After never having had someone in a role like that, Almstadt was the first go, and the first failure.
Almstadt was a Fox man through and through and came after having worked at Arsenal for four years before his move to Birmingham. I'm not sure he was ever really given much of a chance to succeed, and it seems to me as if the real blame here (as with much of everything else at the club right now) is at the feet of Fox. But this is a first step, and likely to be the first of many.
So it's a start. Just keep going, Villa. Scorch the Earth and start anew.