Stan Collymore and Villa owner write open letters to Jack Grealish over more partying

Aston Villa owner Tony Xia has urged midfielder Jack Grealish to show focus and avoid going in the "wrong direction" following allegations surrounding his off-pitch lifestyle.

According to the Daily Mail, the 21-year-old was in a group whose loud partying at a Birmingham hotel angered fellow guests in the early hours of Sunday morning, following Villa's goalless draw at Ipswich.

England Under-21 international Grealish recently signed a new four-year contract with Villa, the club Xia bought earlier this year.

Stan Collymore and Villa owner write open letters to Jack Grealish over more partying

The newspaper report claimed fellow party-goers were inhaling nitrous oxide. There is no suggestion Grealish joined them in doing so.

It is not the first time that Grealish's off-field conduct has been brought into question during his short career. In April 2015 he apologised to then Villa manager Tim Sherwood after being pictured inhaling from balloons at a party.

Last summer he was photographed lying on the ground, apparently drunk, while on holiday in Tenerife. The Villa academy product was then pictured on a night out just hours after a humiliating 4-0 defeat at Everton in November which led to former boss Remi Garde banishing him to the club's Under-21 side.

Xia wrote on Twitter in a direct message to Grealish: "As I said b4, focus every minute on&off pitch, choose the right type of ppl 2be with.Don't let ppl who trust u down!"

In subsequent messages, Xia added: "It's not warning but just elder brother's talk. I trust jack can really learn and be a MAN! Don't go wrong direction."

Grealish made just 16 Premier League appearances last season as the club were relegated but under new manager Roberto Di Matteo he has made an encouraging start to the new campaign, scoring two goals in eight appearances and signing a new deal to keep him at Villa Park until 2020.

Former Villa striker Stan Collymore also told Grealish to find a path on the straight and narrow.

In an open letter to Grealish, Collymore wrote: "You're a baby in life and a talented kid with it all in front of you. Caps, goals, security, and a very proud family who I saw after the Cup SF at Wembley who were so proud it reminded me of my family.

"They are all you need kid. The school pals, the people in town, other players at other clubs (be especially aware of them, the s*** ones will happily see you fail), get rid of them if they don't tick one box. Loyalty."

Collymore added: "Anyone who says 'You're only young once, f*** them it's only fun, etc etc', they are the ones, whoever they are who need to go in the bin.

"The last two youngsters I spoke to at Villa about the dangers were Lee Hendrie and Gareth Barry. One, like me, got the Birmingham village horribly wrong, the other has just played his 600th Premier League game.

"Make your choice, stick to it and only keep the best of the best who've proven themselves by your side. Or you're finished, I guarantee it."

More in this Section

Liverpool, Man City and Celtic fined by UEFALiverpool, Man City and Celtic fined by UEFA

Brendan Rodgers defends James Maddison over casino controversyBrendan Rodgers defends James Maddison over casino controversy

'It was a mad month': League winner Michael Duffy named player of the month for September'It was a mad month': League winner Michael Duffy named player of the month for September

O’Sullivan’s latest Crawley complaints dismissed by tournament organisersO’Sullivan’s latest Crawley complaints dismissed by tournament organisers


Leopard print midi dresses and sequins swirled beneath glossy goddess hair and golden headbands as the great and the good of Cork gathered for ieStyle Live.Leopard print and sequins to the fore at inaugural #IEStyleLive event

You have a long half-term break ahead of you all, and there’s only so much screen time anyone in the family can handle. Everyone is going to need a book-break at some point or another.We reviewed some of the best new books to keep kids entertained over half-term

Sexual politics, snideput-downs and family rivalries are fuelling the trouble brewing in a small Midlands town.Charlie Murphy and Pat Shortt star in new Irish film 'Dark lies the Island'

Robert Hume tells of the eccentric MP for Athboy, Co. Meath – born 300 years ago this month – who thought he was a teapot, and was afraid his spout might break off.A strange brew of a man: The MP for Meath who believed he was a teapot

More From The Irish Examiner