Hendrie 'in the dark' over Aston Villa unrest

July 18, 2006

Aston Villa midfielder Lee Hendrie is hopeful the apparent unrest within the club 'will be resolved'.

The players have requested a meeting with chairman Doug Ellis following the release of a statement on Friday, presented as being from members of the first team, detailing concerns over alleged cost-cutting.

Ellis was 'furious' with the situation, according to Villa head of media and communications Phil Mepham, and now an internal inquiry is to be launched into the circumstances surrounding the release of the statement.

Hendrie has confirmed the matter was yesterday discussed among the players, with the upshot being several members of the first team are to speak with Ellis.

Following training, Hendrie told Sky Sports News: 'We're in the dark. A lot of the players don't know what's happening, and we're trying to find out. Hopefully it will be resolved.

'We've all had a chat in general about things, and we feel it's been blown out of proportion.

'We don't know what the conclusion is, but we're going to speak to the chairman about stuff. There are a few players going to sort things out.'

When asked about the mood in the camp, Hendrie said: 'It is the same as usual. Everybody seems upbeat about everything. Training's been good, and not a lot has really gone wrong.'

Hendrie, though, refused to be drawn on whether there was any dismay among the players regarding O'Leary's reported lack of spending power.

'I'd rather not get involved,' insisted Hendrie. 'Where transfers are concerned, that's for the gaffer and chairman to sort things out.'

In a statement released to Sky Sports News, manager David O'Leary confirmed the players are looking to sit down and talk over matters with Ellis.

'The players wish to meet the chairman at his earliest convenience to discuss their concerns over issues that were raised at the weekend,' said O'Leary.

'My own position is that I feel it would be unwise for me to comment publicly until the outcome of the meeting, and I shall continue to concentrate on the club's pre-season preparations.'

Those preparations will be disrupted to a degree as an inquiry panel comprising operations director Steve Stride and non-executive directors David Owen and Steven Kind are to discuss with the players what has transpired over the last few days.

A statement on the club website read: 'The club is to hold an internal inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the recent publication of a so-called player statement which was allegedly supported by the entire first-team squad.

'The inquiry intends to establish the facts surrounding the events of recent days and this will include meetings with the players.

'There will be no further comment from the club until the inquiry is completed.'