Aston Villa legend discusses club's turmoil, admits abuse from fans

Tony Morley says there is a "toxic atmosphere" at Villa Park this season and reveals he has even been the target of frustration from supporters.

Aston Villa legend Tony Morley has told the Mirror that there is a "toxic atmosphere" at Villa Park this season, has revealed he has even been the target of abuse from supporters.

The bottom club's latest defeat, a 2-0 home loss to title-chasing Tottenham Hotspur, was marked by clashes between home fans and stewards, with the ground's officials attempting to confiscate a banner which was emblazoned with the words 'Lerner Out' in protest against club owner Randy Lerner.

Morley, who scored 34 goals in 180 matches for Villa and was an integral part of the league title and European Cup-winning side of the early 1980s, has witnessed a great deal of the malaise and unrest at the club through his role as a co-commentator on the Villans' matches.

He revealed to the Mirror that he had even been subjected to abuse from angry fans and said that the atmosphere at the club has turned nothing short of poisonous.

The 61-year-old said: "I think we know the inevitable [relegation] is going to happen this year.

"It is a bit of a toxic atmosphere. Supporters have been having a go at me walking in – we have done nothing wrong but we are part of this great club.

"You have to keep going and hope we can turn the corner if it is this year or next year."

Villa are rock bottom of the Premier League, nine points adrift of safety with just eight matches remaining after winning just three league games all season, and look doomed to a first season outside of the top flight in nearly 30 years.

Though there have been increasing changes made in the boardroom, the claret and blue club are in crisis, with the popularity of Lerner and CEO Tom Fox at an all-time low.

The Birmingham club travel to Swansea City on Saturday in their next league fixture looking to end a run of four straight defeats.

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