Aston Villa sack seven in major technical staff cull

Aston Villa have sacked seven members of their technical staff as they move in a new direction under the new owners, The Daily Mail reports.

What’s the word?

Steve Bruce’s side have endured a laboured start to the Championship this season but the midweek victory over Rotherham, which saw Aston Villa rise to seventh in the table, has eased some of the pressure on the side.

While the squad battle for consistency on the field, there has also been major changes behind the scenes as The Daily Mail reports that seven members of the club’s technical staff were sacked on Wednesday as the club continues under the tenure of their new owners.

Bruce was present for the meetings at Villa’s Bodymoor Heath training complex in what was a major purge of the staffing members at the club.

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Who’s gone?

The most high-profile departure is the exit of 61-year-old Ian Atkins, who held a position as Villa’s Chief European Scout since being appointed two years ago and a number of the other departures also relate to scouting.

Scout co-ordinators John Harrower and Mark Britland were also let go along with three scouts, as well as Villa’s loan manager Tommy Mooney.

Dave Downes, who is in charge of sourcing talent for the club’s academy, remains in his role for the time being but performance psychologist Tom Bates could also leave as his future is uncertain.

What does this mean?

While Villa’s cull is certain to attract headlines, it is nothing unusual for a club that has recently undergone a change in the board and provides an indication that the new owners are keen to make improvements on the transfer front.

Villa appointed Christian Purslow as chief executive last month and The Daily Mail states that a sporting director could also come in, while also identifying that this is just the latest in a number of changes behind the scenes.

Earlier this year, head of domestic scouting Tony Coton left his role and was followed out of the door in July by director of football Steve Round.