b_billingsley (b_billingsley) wrote in ontd_football,
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b_billingsley
ontd_football

Gerard Houllier Steps Down





Aston Villa have confirmed that manager Gerard Houllier has left the club with immediate effect.

The 63-year-old Frenchman was widely expected to leave the club after failing to take charge of first-team affairs for the final five games of the season due to ill health.

Due to this a statement released by the club claimed they have agreed amicably to this resolution and the search has begun for a new manager in order to prepare the team for the coming season.

Upon his departure Houllier said: "I am extremely disappointed that I will not have the opportunity to manage Aston Villa next season.

"My health has improved considerably since I was taken ill on April 20. I now intend to take the next few months to concentrate on recuperating fully before I may return to football.

"I was very much looking forward to the prospect of my first full season as Villa manager and returning for pre-season training to prepare for the campaign ahead, a luxury that I did not have last season.

"I have been extremely touched by all of the messages I have received and by the reaction of people throughout the world of football.

"I am very grateful to the Villa fans for their genuine concern and encouragement and to the fans of clubs up and down the country for their kind sentiments.

"I would especially like to thank my assistant manager, Gary McAllister, my staff, the players and all at Aston Villa for their support and, of course, for their efforts in securing a very positive end to last season.

"It has been an honour to manage this great club and I wish everyone connected with Aston Villa every success for the future."

Houllier took charge at Villa Park on September 8, 2010 following the abrupt departure of Martin O’Neill on the eve of the Premier League season.

His tenure was punctuated by a run of up and down results for the club, which eventually saw them finish ninth, although he may be best remembered as the man that brought £24m striker to the club in January of this year.

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