Printer Friendly

War of words rips Villa greats apart.

Byline: MAT KENDRICK Our man with Villa

Villa legends torn apart by war of words 20 years ago by Neil Rioch, who remains its chief executive. Among the management team of the Aston Villa FPA are John Donnelly, David Norton, Mark Kinsella, Mark Draper, Tony Daley, Gareth Farrelly, Jon Pearson, Derek Dudley, Charlie Aitken and Peter McParland. In a statement, they said: "We are fully aware that a very small group of disaffected former players has set up a Lions & Legends organisation to rival the Aston Villa FPA and the Aston Villa Old Stars football team. "The Aston Villa FPA is an open and transparent organisation whose core purpose has always been to provide essential health & welfare support to former players in need, whilst the Aston Villa Old Stars football team has to date raised well over PS5 million for charities. "The Aston Villa FPA ?FROM BACK PAGE

Villa legends torn apart by war of words 20 years ago by Neil Rioch, who remains its chief executive.

Among the management team of the Aston Villa FPA are John Donnelly, David Norton, Mark Kinsella, Mark Draper, Tony Daley, Gareth Farrelly, Jon Pearson, Derek Dudley, Charlie Aitken and Peter McParland.

In a statement, they said: "We are fully aware that a very small group of disaffected former players has set up a Lions & Legends organisation to rival the Aston Villa FPA and the Aston Villa Old Stars football team.

"The Aston Villa FPA is an open and transparent organisation whose core purpose has always been to provide essential health & welfare support to former players in need, whilst the Aston Villa Old Stars football team has to date raised well over PS5 million for charities.

"The Aston Villa FPA ?FROM BACK PAGE will maintain its integrity at all times and rise above the smear tactics employed by misguided and misinformed opponents. However, we cannot allow serious allegations that are potentially libellous to continue unchecked and we will take necessary action where appropriate."

The Lions and Legends have been taking part in charity fixtures since their formation a year ago, as well as several other events raising money for good causes.

Staunton's statement read: "It is not the wish of Lions & Legends to have bought our disagreement with the AVFPA into the public domain in this way, but now have no choice but to respond.

"To see European Cup Winners, League Championship Winners, League Cup winners and proven full internationals referred to as 'disaffected players' is a slur on what we achieved and the support the wonderful public gave us. A full and unreserved apology is expected."

VILLA'S European Cup winning heroes have become embroiled in a bitter feud with the Aston Villa Former Players Association after forming a breakaway group.

Ken McNaught and many of the club's 1982 idols set up the Lions & Legends Association last summer after leaving Aston Villa FPA.

But the split between the two groups of ex-claret and blue favourites has become so unsavoury in recent months that solicitors letters have been exchanged.

And the stars of the club's finest moment in Rotterdam have demanded that their images and names be taken off all materials used to promote the Aston Villa FPA. The fallout came to a head when a message from the Aston Villa FPA and the Aston Villa Old Stars football team was posted on their Facebook page, accusing somebody allegedly involved with the Lions & Legends Association of trying to smear their reputation.

It prompted a response from the Lions & Legends Association, written by former Villa defender Steve Staunton and posted on fans' site Vital Villa, defending the newly-formed group.

Along with McNaught and ? TURN TO PAGE 53 Staunton, the Lions and Legends include Peter Withe, Gordon Cowans, Colin Gibson, Nigel Spink, Gary Shaw, Tony Morley, Des Bremner, Allan Evans, Kenny Swain, Dennis Mortimer, Pat Heard, Jimmy Rimmer, Dave Geddis and Shaun Teale.

The Aston Villa Old Stars team was set up more than half a century ago, while the Aston Villa FPA was formed
COPYRIGHT 2013 Birmingham Post & Mail Ltd
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2013 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Oct 9, 2013
Words:668
Previous Article:We must treat Murphy with care - Clark; 2013 54 We'll handle Murphy with care - boss.
Next Article:Albion start didn't worry me - Jonas.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2019 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters