Date: 16th November 2005 at 6:51pm
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Graham Taylor has revealed in an interview with The Mail, the reasons why he resigned as Villa manager in May 2003. I can only assume the timing of this interview is to refute claims made by Doug in his re-writing of history, sorry in his autobiography.

Doug had claimed that Taylor only beat the sack by leaving. Graham Taylor explained: ‘I resigned and I gave him my reasons for resigning and if he wants to interpret it in that way then that is up to Doug. We all recall things from our own point of view and I guess that is what Doug has done. When I first joined Aston Villa in 1987 it was a football club. When I came back and took up the manager’s role again, I was well aware that it was a plc by that stage. I certainly didn’t like it and I resigned. Basically the major differences were that in the Villa of 1987, the first things that were taken notice of were football decisions. At the Villa I was at the second time around, the football decisions came very much second to plc decisions and I was not prepared to take that.’

He also says, and I couldn’t agree more with him, that football and plc’s should never have mixed. Football is unlike any other business, always will be!

‘You can play well and lose and you can be rubbish but get a win – now to put all of that into a plc where the plc’s responsibilities are to the shareholders is very difficult in my view. In fact, one could argue that only Manchester United have made a success of being a plc and now that Glazer has taken over we will have to wait and see with them. I don’t think any club has become successful by becoming a plc. So once I saw the inside of it from a manager’s point of view and that football decisions were being placed secondary, there was little point in me being back at the club.’

On the other hand, it has given Doug a nice pay cheque and given him a good few excuses not to push the business forward?!

Taylor also said he hadn’t returned to build the club all over again and that he wouldn’t have come back at all if he had known ‘I could not get football decisions through.’

Adding ‘It is ironic really that six months after I left, and I had made the point, Balaban and Alpay were paid off. I could not get that to happen because of the so-called share price. It is a convenient way of Doug putting forward his viewpoint. Memory is always selective and I think that is what has happened in this case.’

He concludes, that at least he wasn’t ever sacked by Doug. Not many managers can say that!