Sir Doug Ellis has his say on departure of CEO Tom Fox from Aston Villa

Trinity Road Stand - Aston Villa

The club's former chairman believes that Fox was a good appointment, but that he had to leave after failing to steer the club to safety.

Former Aston Villa chairman Sir Doug Ellis has told the Birmingham Mail that Chief Executive Offer Tom Fox was the right appointment for the club, but that his failure to keep them in the Premier League may have made his position untenable.

Fox left Villa on Thursday after less than two years in the job with the club seemingly destined for a first relegation from the top flight in nearly 30 years,

The former Arsenal Chief Commercial Officer initially looked to have brought brighter times to Villa Park, with the sacking of Paul Lambert and appointment of Tim Sherwood leading to Premier League safety and a run to the FA Cup final.

However, after striker Christian Benteke and captain Fabian Delph were sold last summer, things quickly turned sour, and not even the board's action to sack Sherwood and replace him with Remi Garde did anything to improve the situation.

Despite the club's failure this season, Ellis insists that Fox was a good appointment as CEO, but admits that his fate was all but sealed but the inevitable relegation.

The 92-year-old told the Birmingham Mail: "Tom Fox is a very nice fellow, obviously with a good commercial background. Unfortunately, he has been unable to keep the team in the Premier League.

"I spoke to him at the last game and I could tell he was down. I don’t interfere, I promised I wouldn’t interfere. I didn’t go into detail.

"Tom was a commercial man more than a football man, but no doubt a good choice as a chief executive. But, sadly, he did not achieve the essential - keeping the team in the Premier League."

Fox's departure follows the sacking of the former Arsenal colleague he appointed as the club's first ever sporting director only eight months ago, Hendrik Almstadt, earlier this week.

These are just the latest in a series of ongoing sweeping changes in the boardroom at the club, which have also seen lifelong Villa fan and former Bank of England governor Mervyn King, ex-FA chairman David Bernstein, and club legend Brian Little appointed as directors in recent weeks.

Register for ASTON VILLA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch