With less than a week to go before the start of the new Premiership season, Aston Villa manager Martin O’Neill has resigned after four years in charge of the club. While the exact details of the backstage workings that led to his decision will probably remain unclear, it seems very likely that his decision has to do with the club’s transfer policy.

After guiding the club into Europe, Villa’s top players have been subject to interest from other clubs. Last summer they sold their captain Gareth Barry to Manchester City, and now James Milner seems set to follow him there. With growing interest on their new captain, Stilyan Petrov, it does seem like O’Neill was at his wits end trying to keep the team together, but at the end it was too much for him.

On one hand, his frustration is understandable, but as a Blackburn Rovers fan, I find this rather amusing. Two years ago Villa took our player of the season (Steven Warnock) and arguably our best player of the decade (Brad Friedel) all in the space of a month, leaving us with a big struggle to survive the upcoming season. Those were happier times for O’Neill, but now he sees what it’s like when a much richer club sets its sight on your players.

It’s a shame because he is/was one of the best managers in England, and I’m sure he’ll be back at another top club. The question now becomes if and who can take over Villa before kickoff on Saturday.

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