The Scot has discussed what he was told by the American owner when taking the job at Villa Park.
Aston Villa have had a torrid season that they will surely be hoping to forget as soon as possible.
Only the most optimistic and slightly deluded Villa fan now believes they can survive the Premier League drop after an abject display against Liverpool last weekend - a game they lost 6-0.
This seems to have been coming for a while now.
Since Martin O'Neill left the club Villa owner Randy Lerner has been trying to cut the running cost of the first-team, which was most dramatically seen under the management of Paul Lambert.
But speaking to Sky Sports News today (19/02/2016) former Villa boss Alex McLeish has discussed what the American said to him when he got the job back in 2011:
"Randy Lerner and the board simply asked if we could reduce the wages to get to a certain level but remain competitive within the league.
"I guess it is a big task. I knew right away it was going to be a tough task.
"Sometimes it can be (realistic) if you've got a feed from the academy and some players you feel can step up. At the time I felt some of the Villa youngsters were too young, although we did bring Andi Weimann through and Gary Gardner through, albeit for only four or five games. So there wasn't really that backbone as well.
"That's why it was a little bit of a struggle to stay in contention. Of course I left at the end of the season and Paul Lambert came in."
Villa did spend money in the summer but it was money earned from the sale of Christian Benteke and Fabian Delph and on players without Premier League experience. The result has been catastrophic and the Villa fans have become fed up with the situation at the club.
The writing has been on the wall for Villa for some time now and it seems very little has been done to combat it in that time.
Hopefully dropping down to the Championship can act as a rebirth for the club and it's passionate fans.