MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 15: Manchester United Manager Sir Alex Ferguson chats to Aston Villa Manager Alex McLeish (R) at the end of the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Aston Villa at Old Trafford on April 15, 2012 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
In the wake of yesterday's disastrous loss to Bolton Wanderers (or, more accurately, the effusive outpouring of hatred towards Alex McLeish) Aston Villa has released an official statement from Randy Lerner and Paul Faulkner. Unsurprisingly, it says absolutely nothing of substance. Also unsurprisingly, it's made nearly everyone angry. Largely because of that whole "not saying anything of substance" bit.
At this moment, the only thing that the vast majority of the club's supporters want to hear from the board on the subject of McLeish is an announcement that he's been sacked. Offering any kind of support for McLeish is complete and utter PR suicide; sometimes, the smartest thing to say is nothing at all. Do Faulkner and Lerner really think that it was necessary to let everyone know McLeish won't be sacked? I think we'd have all figured that out when he was on the touchline come Saturday. While the statement is basic "Vote of Confidence" PR boilerplate that, if anything, likely shows that the board is leaning towards sacking McLeish come the end of the season, many Villa fans are taking the words at their face value. This has done nothing to help defuse the situation, and if anything it's made it worse.
This is just further evidence that, despite what I genuinely believe are the best of intentions, Randy Lerner and the team he has assembled are simply not very good at the business of running a football club. The board is well within their rights to give McLeish until the end of the season, and there's a case to be made that it's the correct decision. But there's really no nicer way to put it; releasing this statement was just a dumb thing to do.