Former Aston Villa owner Doug Ellis has told the Birmingham Mail that under-fire manager Remi Garde followed him to his car to ask his opinion on things directly after a Villa match.
Barring a miracle, the Villans will be relegated from the Premier League this season as Garde's side sit rock bottom of the table, 12 points adrift of safety after winning just three times in the 2015-16 campaign.
The Frenchman is reportedly on the brink of being sacked by the club (The Sun), and Ellis insisted that he would not give his opinion on the situation when the 49-year-old approached him after a match.
“Remi Garde made a point, while I was walking away from one game, of following me to my car," he said to the Birmingham Mail. “He asked me ‘What’s your opinion?’
“I told him I’d made a promise not to interfere and if I answered his question it would appear I was interfering. He accepted that. There was nothing I could say or do to help him.
“However, we have to look at next year and the Championship and be prepared, more likely with a new manager.”
It gets no easier for the Villans, who welcome Chelsea to the West Midlands next Saturday. The clock is ticking for Garde, who may not even be in charge of the club by then.
As Ellis touched on, the long-term focus must be on escaping the Championship at the first attempt - a challenge, but one Villa must rise to if they want a speedy return to the top flight.