Former Aston Villa chairman Doug Ellis has told the Daily Mirror that relegation for the club is 'inevitable' - but he doesn't regret selling the club to Randy Lerner.
Ellis, 92, was chairman of Villa for seven years between 1968 and 1975, before taking the reins as chairman again in 1982, a position he held until the sale to Lerner in 2006.
Barring a spell of strong finishes under Martin O'Neill, Villa have struggled in the near ten-year spell under Ellis, and this is by far their worst season with the American calling the shots.
Villa sit bottom of the Premier League table with just eight points from 20 Premier League games, and Remi Garde's men already appear to be doomed, hurtling towards relegation.
With only one win to their name, Villa could even rival Derby County's record for the lowest ever Premier League points total, and they currently lie 11 points adrift of survival, with Garde yet to even notch a victory in his two months at Villa Park.
Now, former chairman Ellis has told The Mirror that he thinks relegation is now 'inevitable', and believes it will be a sad day when Villa are relegated to the Championship.
Ellis also added that he thinks things just haven't worked out with Lerner in charge at Villa Park, but doesn't regret selling to the American.
"Relegation is inevitable now and any tears are now rather than at a specific time," said Ellis. "I put blood, sweat and toil into the club but when the time comes I won’t be surprised we are relegated, therefore I am suffering now rather than then. Nevertheless it will be a very sad day when we are no longer in the Premier League."
"It never entered my head then when I sold the club but I don’t regret selling to Randy. I am a great believer in a gentleman’s handshake. To me I sold to a good man in Randy Lerner. I had a lot of business with 18 or 19 chairmanships throughout my business life. I have always valued the ones where there hasn’t been a lot of paperwork and just a simple shake of hands."
"If both sides agree to what we said at the shake of a hand then I am a happy man. To me he is a perfect example of that. He said he will put money in, I think it was £200million, he did do and has done. He has shaken hands and kept his word but it is just a pity the people he has appointed as managers and the amount of money he has given them hasn’t worked out I am afraid," he added