Aston Villa owner Randy Lerner has accepted blame for the club’s relegation from the Premier League.
The American, who rarely attends games, has been under fire from fans during Villa’s slide down the table over the last five years.
Villa were relegated from the Premier League after last week’s 1-0 defeat to Manchester United, the first time they have dropped out of the top flight since 1987.
Our Monday Verdict mournfully looked at the “shameful decline” of one of England’s most famous clubs, and allotted plenty of the blame on Villa’s American owner.
But now Lerner has said in a written statement on the club’s official website: “I write to Villa supporters to make clear that this relegation lies at my feet and no one else’s.”
The club is in talks with potential buyers but Press Association Sport understands nothing is imminent at this stage.
They were plunged into further disarray this week after directors Mervyn King and David Bernstein quit with the pair’s apparent resignation letters hinting at problems with Lerner.
And Lerner, who has owned the club since 2006, penned an open letter to supporters to shoulder responsibility for the drop.
He added: “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 believe in Aston Villa and know it will come back stronger and more able, with love and care for the community it serves.
“I will continue to try to put the club into worthy hands and also do my best to position Villa for the quickest possible return to its rightful place among England’s elite.”