Aston Villa’s summer of upheaval continued today with the club confirming Paul Faulkner has stepped down as chief executive.
At the end of last season owner Randy Lerner put Villa up for sale as the American decided he had spent enough in attempting to raise the club’s profile and fortunes.
Several weeks ago the club also sacked assistant manager Ian Culverhouse and head of football operations Gary Karsa following an internal investigation into off-field issues.
Boss Paul Lambert has since appointed Roy Keane as his new assistant, but the loss of Faulkner serves as another blow to the midlands outfit.
Although Lerner and Faulkner have worked closely together for many years, with the latter involved in a variety of roles in the former's many businesses, the two have now gone their separate ways.
It follows a failure to reach an agreement on Faulkner’s future as the club claim, via a statement, he had hoped to “re-engage with Lerner’s broader business while remaining involved with Villa in a non-operational role”.
Faulkner has parted on good terms, and has offered his support to Villa to ensure a smooth transition.
Robin Russell, appointed by Lerner in 2006 as chief financial officer, has stepped in as acting chief executive.
Faulkner said: “I would like to thank Randy for the opportunity to become involved with Aston Villa and for the relationship we built over the years, which pre-dated my time at the club.
“To the Villa fans, I am grateful for their support over the years, and for their passionate love for, and loyalty to, this great club which deserves the very best.
“I would like to make particular reference to the wonderful Villa staff both at Bodymoor Heath and Villa Park.
“They are an incredible group of people and it’s been a privilege to lead and work with them on a daily basis.
“Villa is best in class in so many ways off the field, and I only hope that success on the pitch follows.
“I feel very humbled to have been able to spend such a long period of time amongst such special people at such a special club and I wish them, Paul Lambert and the squad all the very best for the future as I look to embark on the next stage of my career and a new challenge.”
In response, Lerner said: “Paul has been fantastic in his role at Villa and more broadly as a colleague over the years. I offer him my deepest thanks.”