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Reclusive Aston Villa owner finally speaks out on relegation

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Randy Lerner takes the blame for Villa's downfall

Paul Gilham/Getty Images

Aston Villa have today released a short statement for their owner Randy Lerner. The statement is brief, so I've put it below for your pleasure..

A nagging sense of inevitability set in against Leicester City despite the late lead we enjoyed. Can't say why although I doubt I'm alone...

How many seasons after all can one hold on and hope to slide through? That is not Aston Villa. That kind of desperate existence is totally unacceptable, unbearable and totally incompatible with Villa's glorious past. That is not what, or why, I looked to get involved back then and it is why I've looked for some time to make a change. I can say certainly in good faith that I have tried to sell since my May 2014 announcement and put our beloved club in better suited hands - but that hasn't happened.

I write to Villa supporters to make clear that this relegation lies at my feet and no one else's. And because I believe in Aston Villa and know it will come back stronger and more able, with love and care for the community it serves, with the edge and attitude it must have to represent our history and tradition. Memories of Acorns on the shirt, and Ashley Young scoring a late winner against Everton still romantically nourish me. I know Villa will return better, stronger.

I will continue to try to put the club into worthy hands as I have, and also do my best to position Villa for the quickest possible return to its rightful place among England's elite.

At this point, I just don't know what is going on. Call me a fool, call me an idiot, but those are not the words of a man who doesn't care. His actions, do of course prove otherwise. Of interest is Randy's specific mention of the Leicester game, the turning point of this season. Who knows what could have happened if we had held out against the Foxes? However, if Randy saw what we all saw in that specific game, there was no hope for this season, at all. Also, I feel this could either be a 'sorry, I'm trying to sell' note or a genuine handover apology.

This comes at the close of a working week which has seen Villa receive 8 takeover bids and two board members quit after a spat with the owner.

One thing is for certain - despite his apology, Randy has got to go.