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Remi Garde leaves Aston Villa by mutual consent

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Aston Villa's French manager Remi Garde watches his players during the English Premier League football match against Manchester City on March 5, 2016 (AFP Photo/Lindsey Parnaby)
Aston Villa’s French manager Remi Garde watches his players during the English Premier League football match against Manchester City on March 5, 2016 (AFP Photo/Lindsey Parnaby)

BIRMINGHAM, March 29 – French manager Remi Garde has left Aston Villa by mutual consent, the Premier League basement sitters said on Tuesday.

“The Club would like to place on record its sincere thanks to Remi for all his efforts during a difficult period and wish him well in the future,” said a club statement on the Villa website.

Eric Black has taken over as acting manager until a full-time appointment can be made.

Villa started the season with Tim Sherwood as manager but he was sacked in October after losing six consecutive matches.

Chairman Steve Hollis, director David Bernstein and advisor Brian Little were also present for Tuesday’s discussions with Garde, who guided his unhappy squad through one final training session.

The delay was down to negotiations over a pay-off, with Garde thought to be arguing that Villa’s refusal to make funds available, having been promised January signings when he took over, could amount to constructive dismissal.

Hollis, who has already dismissed sporting director Hendrik Almstadt and prompted chief executive Tom Fox’s departure, had decided to sack Garde to wipe the slate clean for next season in the Championship.

Villa won just twice in the Premier League under Garde and morale at the club is desperately depleted, with staff and players said to be ‘going through the motions’ ahead of the final seven Premier League fixtures.

Assistant Black, appointed in January, will take caretaker charge for the 12.45pm game against Chelsea at Villa Park, with the club opting against Kevin MacDonald, who became temporary boss when Tim Sherwood was sacked.

Longer-term, Villa are looking at a British managers with pedigree for getting teams promoted, including Nigel Pearson, David Moyes and Sean Dyche.

A club statement read: ‘Manager, Remi Garde, has today left Aston Villa Football Club by mutual consent.

‘The club would like to place on record its sincere thanks to Remi for all his efforts during a difficult period and wish him well in the future.

‘Eric Black will take over as acting manager until the club appoints a new manager.

‘There will be no further comment from the club at this stage.’

Villa were also busy making an appointment on Tuesday, recruiting former FA executive Adrian Bevington to assist the board.

Bevington worked with Bernstein when managing director of Club England between 2010 to 2015, and will unite with his former colleague as part of the current review of the club’s massive failings, helping to implement required changes.

Bevington was involved in the appointment of Roy Hodgson as England manager and would advise on a successor to Garde.

He has been working as advisor to Nottingham Forest owner Fawaz Al Hasawi on a part-time basis and will continue to do so until the end of the season, but only very minimally.

He is also assisting the Welsh FA ahead of Euro 2016 but his major focus is Villa.

Bernstein said: ‘Adrian has a wealth of experience with over 20 years working at the highest level of football.

‘He worked with many managers and coaches during his 17 years at the FA. I’m convinced his experience, contacts and understanding of football will be a tremendous asset to Aston Villa Football Club.’

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