Alex McLeish has finally been unveiled as the new Aston Villa boss after days of controversy and speculation.
The former Birmingham boss quit his post at St Andrew’s by email last Sunday and since then has been involved in a bitter war of words with Birmingham acting chairman Peter Pannu who has demanded over £5million in compensation if Villa were to appoint McLeish.
And that was all before hundreds of Aston Villa fans marched on Villa Park on Wednesday to protest the potential appointment.
Despite all the controversy, McLeish is relishing the prospect of another season in the Premier League.
He said: “I am honoured to have this opportunity to manage a club with such a fantastic history.
“The heritage, the history of success and the tradition of Aston Villa are compelling and irresistible.”
Aston Villa begin their season with a tricky away trip to Fulham before facing Blackburn Rovers and Wolverhampton Wanderers at home in their next two games – with three very winnable matches to start the season, McLeish will have plenty of pressure on him from the get go.
Aston Villa are currently 16/1 to be relegated to the Championship which may be tempting to some – McLeish has been relegated twice with Birmingham, and Villa were very much in a survival battle up until spring last season.
With Villa set to lose Stewart Downing as well as Ashley Young, the supply line to main man Darren Bent looks set to be been drastically reduced as well.
A poor start combined with unrest amongst the fans could see the 16/1 currently offered look very tempting.