Former Aston Villa midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger has told talkSPORT fans must abandon any dreams for the future until owner Randy Lerner is out of the club.
The Villans are reportedly readying a mass squad clear out this summer as they start preparing for life in the Championship following their relegation from the top flight.
But the Midlands club is in turmoil off the pitch as well as on it. They are still without a full-time manager, while a number of board members have resigned in recent weeks.
Meanwhile, unpopular owner Lerner – who recently admitted their relegation ‘lies at my feet and no one else’s’ – has also confirmed he is still seeking to sell the club
And Hitzlsperger, who made over 100 appearances for the Villa, believes a takeover must happen BEFORE any next manager or new players talk can start.
“It’s been tough for Aston Villa, not just this season but for the past few seasons,” he told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast.
“You can almost say we could see it coming. This season has been really depressing.
“You can talk about new managers and new players coming in, but first of all Randy Lerner has to sell the club.
“A new owner has to come in and change the club, get the fans on board again and hopefully come back up to the Premier League as quickly as possible.”