One of the main criticism's levelled at Tom Fox's reign at Aston Villa is the iron curtain surrounding B6. News doesn't really leak out of Villa Park and for that reason, the AVST have lobbied to meet with Villa's main man to set the record straight. That's exactly what happened.
Before yesterday's match with Arsenal, the AVST met with Villa's CEO to discuss the future of the club. Surprisingly, Tom Fox revealed a large amount of information regarding the roles of certain individuals who had been the result of scrutiny within the Villa fanbase as well as the press in recent months - Paddy Reilly and Hendrik Almstadt.
On Reilly, Fox noted that whilst Paddy was an important part of the player selection process at Aston Villa, the manager at the time had the final say. It's possible that Reilly gather information on players he thought would fit Aston Villa and brought them back to a committee consisting of Tom Fox, Tim Sherwood and Reilly. Fox seemed hurt that the media had spun this approach into something more sinister as it's a similar model to that of most Football Clubs in this day and age. Fox capped this off with the fact that the first line of questioning to Remi Garde upon his appointment was to ask the Frenchman if he had final say on his transfers, when that had always been the case.
Hendrik Almstadt had come under similar criticism and was the man that people pointed fingers at following Sherwood's dismissal. Tom Fox advised that Hendrik has almost nothing to do with selection and recruitment and is instead something of a 'troubleshooter' for the manager. Hendrik's role allows the manager to concentrate on important tasks. Fox underlined this by stating that the manager does not report to the Sporting Director.
Tom Fox noted that letting Delph almost run out his contract at Villa was a mistake, and embossed his belief that Remi Garde will do much better with the current squad than Tim Sherwood. This was followed by a reluctance to rule out any purchases in the winter transfer window, because it would be unfair to Remi Garde to ban the former Lyon manager from purchasing improvements for the playing staff.
Finally, the biggest announcement of all was that a new chairman is set to arrive at Villa Park 'imminently' as well as the appointment of a new member of the board. Please do not take this as a omen that Aston Villa are to be sold in coming weeks, but also do not mistake this as a sign that Villa can not progress under Lerner. There is clearly movement at Villa Park and this should be a huge step forward for a club that are currently sleepwalking into the Football Championship.
If you want to read more about the AVST's chat with Tom Fox, please visit their site here.