Aston Villa have insisted reports of 'dissatisfaction' within the club's playing staff are wide of the mark.
Villa head of media and communications Phil Mepham responded strongly to a statement, reportedly issued yesterday by the first-team squad, by revealing several senior players had told him they had no knowledge of it.
Chairman Doug Ellis is said to be 'furious' about the statement, which listed a series of claimed cutbacks.
Mepham said: 'The chairman is furious, because he has had no indication from any member of the playing or coaching staff of any dissatisfaction at the training ground. So this has come as a great surprise.
'Once the 'story' broke, I spoke to several senior members of the first-team squad, all of whom had no knowledge of the statement. All of them were surprised at its content.
'So to suggest this is a collective statement is ridiculous.'
Mepham was speaking to the club's official website, www.avfc.co.uk, in an article entitled ‘Players and Chairman Unite'.
And Professional Footballers' Association chief executive Gordon Taylor hopes the incident will indeed unite the club.
'I hope there will be a coming together of the chairman and the players, the manager and supporters' representatives to clear the air because the best time to do that is the start of the season,’ he told PA Sport.
'This is an indication that that clearly needs to be done. Is the club going to be sold or not sold, and if it's not going to be sold what are their ambitions?’
Taylor added: 'The public sale of the club has been talked about now for such a long time and they feel they're not certain where the club is going.
'Decisions have to be made. Is the club going to go forward, is it going to be sold or are they going to remain in this impasse?
'I don't think it helps anyone when there is so much talk about a club being sold and then nothing happens and then as a result perhaps expenditure isn't being made that they feel should be made.'
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