Aston Villa sacked Tim Sherwood on Sunday, and former striker Stan Collymore told talkSPORT the same day that the club are being turned into a joke by owner Randy Lerner - the same fate that has come to Newcastle, Sunderland and Leeds United by their respective owners.
The former striker said: “They’re great clubs, but they’ve been turned into jokers by ownership like Mike Ashley, Ellis Short, and you can throw Randy Lerner in with them, and at the extreme end, the funny end, the cartoon end - although it’s not funny for Leeds United fans - Massimo Cellino.”
Villa owner Lerner sacked Sherwood with them sitting in the bottom three of the Premier League places, although they then fell to last place in the table by the end of that day after Sunderland defeated Newcastle.
The goings on at Villa Park have led to much criticism, with many suggesting that Lerner and his fellow management staff are not cut out to control a Premier League football team, and Collymore believes that the only way Villa can go is down - despite being a historically great club in England.
This is how both Newcastle and Sunderland have fared in recent seasons, and although Leeds were already in the Championship when Cellino took control, the situation at Elland Road is becoming more comical with each passing week.
There is no apparent way that these sides can move forward under their current regimes, with Villa, Newcastle and Sunderland all set to fight relegation this season. At least one of them is surely guaranteed to go down, and it will not be too long before they all find themselves in the Championship, unless the way the clubs are run changes.
Leeds, who are already in the second tier, have no real path to finding their way back to the top flight under Cellino, and if the Whites continue on their current trajectory, a drop to League One is far more likely that a rise to the Premier League.
Collymore raises a key issue with the running of some of England’s biggest clubs, and if they continue to be run as they have been, they are never going to be able to reach their former heights again.