Following the departure of our manager on August 9, the Club was left with very little time to react and to prepare for our opening fixtures.
Our first order of business, looking immediately ahead to our games against West Ham, Rapid Vienna, Newcastle and Everton, was to ask Kevin MacDonald to step in as caretaker manager.
Kevin has been with Villa for a period stretching back over 15 years, has thorough knowledge of our first team, reserves and youth Academy players, as well as strong and well-established working relationships with other key members of our coaching staff.
As such, we felt he would provide a critical degree of stability and continuity in a turbulent period and give the team the best opportunity to succeed in these early games.
Kevin, Tony McAndrew and many other long-serving members of our Club have stepped up selflessly and without hesitation to the task at hand and for this we owe them a huge debt of gratitude.
We are conscious that we have steered clear of openly communicating our thoughts on the search for a permanent manager until this time, as we felt that to do so would undermine both Kevin’s and the players’ efforts to focus on preparing for these games.
To date, we have immersed ourselves in the process of appointing a new manager and clearly identifying the key criteria this person must meet.
Two of the traits we believe are of crucial importance are that candidates have experience of managing in the Premier League and a strategy for building on the existing strengths in our current squad.
We have thoroughly researched potential candidates and have reached out to a variety of contacts we have within the game for advice and guidance, as well as keeping key staff at Villa Park informed and focused.
We will now start the process of interviewing candidates we believe meet the key criteria required to manage Aston Villa with a view to making an appointment in the near future.
Kevin MacDonald will continue as caretaker manager until that time.
Finally, we wish to make clear that our relative inactivity in the transfer market this window in no way reflects a change in direction or dilution of ambition for the Club, but rather our reluctance to make decisions on players without a permanent manager in place.
We would not expect to make any further statements until such time as we are in position to make a definitive announcement on the managerial situation.
Chief Executive, Aston Villa Football Club