Andy Gray explains how Doug Ellis handled Aston Villa relegation in 1987, current hierarchy should take note

Andy Gray Richard Keys

The former Aston Villa striker was relegated with the club in 1987.

This weekend could finally see Aston Villa fans put out of their misery, with the club on the verge of relegation from the Premier League. Defeat against Bournemouth, one of the only teams Villa have defeated this season, and results going against them elsewhere could see Villa drop down to the Championship.

The last time Villa were relegated was way back in 1987, just five years after winning the European Cup.

Andy Gray was a part of that team with the legendary Doug Ellis the chairman at the club at that time.

Gray, who was in his less successful second stint at Villa Park, has been speaking about the day he got relegated with Villa to The Telegraph this weekend.

He explained what Ellis did that summer, which spurred the club immediately back to the top-flight:

“I remember the day in 1987 when we were relegated vividly, I thought only one person could feel worse than me and that was Doug Ellis. I drove round to his house that night and we had a couple of glasses of wine and talked about what happens next. He had a big decision to make, appointed Graham Taylor and Villa got promoted the following season.

“This is now a massive decision for the new board and they need to take their time. If they don’t get it right they might spend more time in the lower leagues than they want to.”

Taylor was a sharp appointment and this summer there is no doubt that the current and incoming Aston Villa board must make an equally as impressive managerial appointment.

The likes of Nigel Pearson and David Moyes have been mentioned and, just as Ellis did back in 1987, Villa must make a decisive and important decision this summer if they are to bounce back immediately once again.

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