A timeline telling the story of Alex McLeish and his departure from Birmingham City and possible move to Aston Villa
Created by davidhiggerson on 14/06/2011
Last updated: 21/06/11 at 11:47
ALEX McLeish insists he would be prepared to raid Blues for their best players if he thought they were good enough to improve Villa.
McLeish has already been linked with Birmingham’s defensive crown jewels, goalkeeper Ben Foster and centre-half Scott Dann.
Villa are also running the rule over a host of other keepers, while McLeish will assess Ciaran Clark before deciding whether to move for another left sided central defender.
But McLeish would have no objection about shopping at St Andrew’s for new players if they suited Villa’s needs.
“I don’t think it would put me off if I thought a player could improve Aston Villa then why not?” he said.
“I know there are many great Blues players there but the policy I’ve always maintained at any club I’ve ever been at is never to talk about any other club’s players,” he said.
“I’m getting bombarded over the last couple of days with text messages from agents and clubs asking me about this player and that player and if I want them.
“We are just going to assess things at the moment, look at the squad.”
ALEX McLeish hopes a winning start will tempt back Villa’s stay-away fans – despite insisting their first six fixtures are harder than they look.
Some of the claret and blue brigade are threatening to return their season tickets and boycott Villa Park following McLeish’s appointment.
And the former Blues boss acknowledges the only way to win over the doubters is by winning football matches during a high pressure start to his reign.
“I hope that they’re buying them back in a couple of months’ time,” said McLeish.
“The main thing is that they support Villa. If they hand their season tickets back it doesn’t look like it’s a goer for them, but I’m sure deep down they’ll come back.
“If we provide the performances and the results then that’s the key. Getting results. That is the bottom line. That is what wins everyone over.
Villa kick off the new campaign with trips to Fulham, Everton and QPR interspersed with home games against Blackburn, Wolves and Newcastle.
“I respect everyone in the Premier League and I would never give anyone a head start and pin it up in the dressing room and say we’ve got an easy start. It could have been harder? I know what you mean but every game is hard in the Premier League.”
McLeish confirmed assistant boss Gary McAllister has left and Gordon Cowans will stay on as first team coach, but refused to comment on potential plans to recruit coaches from former club Blues.
New Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish has asked the fans of the club to allow him time to prove he is the right man for the job after he left bitter rivals Birmingham City to take the post.
McLeish's appointment was criticised by both sets of supporters after he was named Gerard Houllier's successor at Villa Park, but the tough Scot believes he can do the job and claimed he understood where the club's fans were coming from.
Gary McAllister is philosophical about leaving Aston Villa after a topsy turvy season as the claret and blues’ assistant boss.
“This is part of the job of being on the coaching side of football so I fully understand the situation,” said McAllister.
THE only man to manage both Aston Villa and Blues has broken his silence to given his backing to Alex McLeish in the football storm which has divided the city.
Reclusive football legend Ron Saunders, now aged 78, called on Villa fans to rally behind owner Randy Lerner’s controversial appointment.
ASTON VILLA today confirmed that Alex McLeish was their new manager.
The move comes after a dramatic week in Birmingham football, which began with McLeish quitting Birmingham City on Sunday
ALEX McLeish has been given the ultimate endorsement by managerial mentor Sir Alex Ferguson, who has backed him to win over the dubious Villa Park faithful.
McLeish was announced as Villas new boss today after a slight procedural delay halted the clubs plans to confirm his appointment last night.
But in an extremely rare press interview, Ferguson has tipped his former Aberdeen protege to overcome negative public opinion to become a success at Villa.
The legendary Old Trafford manager believes the Villa fans who have protested about McLeishs appointment will soon appreciate the 52-year-old Scots abilities.
If you look back 40 years ago, the emotions of supporters were far different then to what they are today, said Ferguson, who was McLeishs manager during their successful spell at Pittodrie from the late 70s to the mid-80s.
They are very emotional today and are more personal about their football club and you see many examples of that, particularly Aston Villa in the last few days. But, as a football club, you cant do it. You cant be swayed from the decisions you have to make.
You want to listen to the supporters but you want to listen to the sensible ones and say, Look at the managers CV and look at what hes achieved at other clubs and, for just one minute, forget about the fact he was at Birmingham.
At the end of the day what will count is this: can he do the job for Villa? It doesnt matter whether there are 50 against him or 500 against him or five against him because the experience and the ability he has got, believe me, he will prove that he can do the job. And thats what its all about.
Ferguson believes McLeishs Villa doubters will gradually grow to respect the former Rangers and Scotland manager when they realise what he is capable of.
Once the fans are confronted by the reality that he is the manager, they will step back and say, Well, we have made our complaints and voiced our opinion, lets see what happens next and give the man his chance, he said.
There are some good players at Aston Villa and overall its a really good set-up. There are some good young players and therefore he will have that opportunity to weld it all together, the youth and the experience.
There were good examples of this happening towards the end of Gerards reign when things were starting to get a bit better.
It takes time to get a manager to get what you want out of your team and the Villa fans will need to give Alex the time to do that, too.
I have known Alex since he was 18 years. He was always intelligent, always inquisitive in his nature, always asking questions and these to me are essential ingredients for a successful manager.
In all his jobs hes had to deal with making do with what you have and making the best of it and thats a quality. Aston Villa will represent the same type of challenge.
Ferguson is also convinced McLeish will command the instant respect of the dressing room despite inheriting some players who caused problems during Gerard Houlliers regime.
Hes a good communicator and his players will all know him well before they play their first game and embark upon the coming season, he added.
As a player, he was outstanding. He was always a leader on the pitch and he always worked hard.
In all his managerial positions, he has always had to work hard, too. His CV is good. He managed Rangers, he managed Scotland, he won trophies and hes achieved what he has as a manager on limited resources. Hes done a phenomenal job.
Our Man At Aston Villa has been in our studios here at Fort Dunlop to talk about the current situation surrounding the club's interest in former Birmingham City manager Alex McLeish.
HUNDREDS of angry fans stormed Villa Park to vent their fury over the imminent arrival of former Blues boss Alex McLeish.
Around 500 Villa supporters sang anti-McLeish chants and paraded banners making clear their objections to his appointment by club owner Randy Lerner.
Some scaled walls surrounding the North Stand car park and were followed by hundreds more who poured through a set of gates and occupied the area around the grounds main office facilities.
The fans also made themselves heard on the steps of the Holte End, singing: We dont want McLeish and other more colourful verses.
ALEX McLeish has already discussed transfer targets with Randy Lerner and Paul Faulkner ahead of his appointment in the Villa Park hot-seat today.
McLeish met with the Villa chairman and chief executive for productive talks in London yesterday and will be confirmed as Gerard Houlliers successor imminently.
As exclusively revealed in yesterdays Birmingham Mail, an announcement will be made today once the finer details of his three-year contract have been agreed.
The former Blues boss, whose resignation rocked St Andrews on Sunday, spoke in detail to the Villa board about his plans for a summer of squad strengthening.
It is a strong indication the claret and blues intend to get down to transfer business as soon as possible after the press conference to officially unveil McLeish, which is likely to be on Monday.
Although Ashley Youngs s16million-plus exit to Manchester United is virtually a done deal, the new boss will have several other key decisions to make regarding incoming and outgoing transfers.
Stewart Downings future will be high up McLeishs to-do list with the player-of-the-season heavily linked with a move despite having two years left on his current Villa contract.Recruiting a goalkeeper will also be among his priorities with many Villa fans hoping he is able to persuade former England stopper Ben Foster to follow him across the Second City divide.
Yesterdays encouraging meeting in London confirmed to Villas power-brokers that the former Rangers and Scotland manager is their right man for the job despite his Blues baggage.
It came as hundreds of supporters descended on Villa Park to voice their objection to McLeishs appointment yesterday evening, while abusive graffiti was daubed at the entrance of the clubs Bodymoor Heath training ground.
Although McLeish and the Villa board face an almighty challenge to win over the supporters, they are confident Birminghams board will not delay the appointment. Villas lawyers spoke to their Blues counterparts yesterday and are confident their rivals have no legal grounds to block their move for McLeish.
The claret and blues have also shrugged off Birmingham acting chairman Peter Pannus suggestion they illegally tapped up the 52-year-old Scot.
Pannu made the claims in a statement on the Blues website on Tuesday evening, but the St Andrews board have yet to lodge an official complaint.
Villa are adamant they have acted in the correct manner throughout their search for a manager, which began two weeks ago yesterday when Houlliers departure for health reasons was confirmed.
ALEX McLeish has already discussed transfer targets with Randy Lerner and Paul Faulkner ahead of his appointment in the Villa Park hot-seat today.
McLeish met with the Villa chairman and chief executive for productive talks in London yesterday and will be confirmed as Gerard Houllier’s successor imminently.
VILLA fans have criticised the abusive anti-Alex McLeish graffiti scrawled onto the entrance to the club’s training ground.
The words ‘Bluenose scum not welcome’ were thought to have been daubed onto the brick entrance to Bodymoor Heath in north Warwickshire in the early hours.
FURIOUS Aston Villa fans were today gearing up for protest action over their club’s possible appointment of Alex McLeish as manager.
Villa Park was expected to be the site of a demonstration against the former Blues manager today at around 5pm.
ALEX McLeish will be appointed Villa’s new manager tomorrow despite bitter rivals Blues accusing the club of tapping him up.
McLeish is set to meet with chairman Randy Lerner and chief executive Paul Faulkner at a secret location today to thrash out the finer details of his likely three-year deal.
Villa, who confirmed the interview in an official statement last night, regard it as more than a formality with personal terms and contracts still to be signed.
BIRMINGHAM CITY tonight called in lawyers to draw up a response to claims by the football managers trade union that Alex McLeish had felt he had no choice but to quit Blues.
Mystery had surrounded the decision by McLeish to quit Blues via email on Sunday, who is now in the running for the Aston Villa job.
BIRMINGHAM CITY tonight accused Aston Villa of 'tainting football' over the decision to interview Alex McLeish - and vowed to do all they could to stop the Scot crossing the city.
Aston Villa have released a statement to the fans of the club in response to the reaction surrounding their interest in former Birmingham City manager Alex McLeish.
Alex McLeish quit Birmingham City because he was not consulted properly over transfers and because his chief scout was sacked, according to the League Managers' Association.
LMA chief executive Richard Bevan said there had been "aggressive and seriously undermining communications" that had made McLeish's position untenable.
BLUES have ‘at least six’ managers under consideration for the vacant St Andrew’s job.
Although the club are in the early stages of drawing up a definite wish-list, Peter Pannu said they already had some candidates in mind.
Facebook groups are formed by Villa and Blues fans while a banner appears outside Villa Park
Peter Pannu has reacted furiously to the resignation of Alex McLeish insisting that he will take an injunction out to stop Aston Villa naming him manager.
He said: "I will be getting an injunction preventing Villa from hiring him. Either Villa pick up his tab or I will be reporting them to the Premier League.
"Aston Villa's confirmation that they are free now to speak to him confirms all of my suspicions and with a bit more evidence I will be reporting this.
VILLA’S board WILL talk to former Blues boss Alex McLeish as the managerial Battle of Brum intensifies.
BIRMINGHAM City are demanding £5.4 million in compensation for Alex McLeish if he goes to Aston Villa.
That’s the exit clause in the contract he signed at Blues in September.
BIRMINGHAM CITY'S acting chairman Peter Pannu has revealed the last contact he had from Alex McLeish before his resignation was a note of thanks for getting started on his summer signings list.
Carson Yeung and Peter Pannu were today beginning the process of identifying Birmingham City's new manager.
And the early indications were that Gianfranco Zola, Roberto di Matteo and Chris Hughton were all under serious consideration.
PETER Pannu has described Alex McLeish’s Birmingham City resignation as ‘‘irresponsible’
The Birmingham Mail reports how McLeish faces an uphill battle to win over fans
To add to the sense of confusion and shock, Blues revealed they were in the process of signing more new players for McLeish, inclduing Rob Earnshaw
Colin Tattum reveals that Blues will fight to stop McLeish leaving
Fans of both Aston Villa and Birmingham City delivered an instant, negative, verdict on talk of McLeish crossing the city
Colin Tattum breaks the news via his blog and his twitter account @colintattum
The Sunday Mercury broke the news that Villa would want to talk Alex McLeish
MARK Hughes has re-emerged as a fans’ favourite for the Villa Park hotseat after Wigan boss Roberto Martinez turned down the job.
Many fans at the club shop renewing their season tickets and at the nearby Witton Arms named the ex-Fulham manager as their top choice.
Roberto Martinez has decided to stay at Wigan Athletic after Aston Villa requested permission to speak to him regarding the vacant manager's position at Villa Park.
ROBERTO Martinez is the new clear front-runner in Villa’s managerial quest after Dave Whelan granted Randy Lerner permission to speak to the Wigan boss.
Martinez is believed to have been high up the claret and blues’ wish-list from the off and has remained there during this week’s interview process.
Villa say they won't be signing Steve McClaren
Tom Hanks, arguably Villa's most famous fan, suggests Brian Clough as a replacement for Houllier, not realising he's dead
Aston Villa managerial target Carlo Ancelotti has ruled himself out of the running to succeed Gerard Houllier – telling Villa he is taking a sabbatical from coaching.
Aston Villa are going to launch a bold swoop for Carlo Ancelotti, with the sacked Chelsea boss well ahead of bookies’ favourite Mark Hughes and fans’ choice David Moyes in Randy Lerner’s thinking.
Mark Hughes was linked with the Villa job after leaving Fulham but the Mail was the first to confirm he wasn't in for the job at Villa Park
DAVID Moyes has emerged as the fans’ favourite to replace Gerard Houllier as Villa manager, according to our exclusive online poll.
Hundreds of supporters cast their votes in our internet survey yesterday with almost half of them choosing Moyes as the ideal next boss.
GERARD Houllier will stand down as Villa boss by mutual consent this week after medical reports revealed it was too risky for him to return to duty.
Houllier and Villa have reluctantly decided the 63-year-old should vacate his position with immediate effect following his recent heart scare.