Aston Villa sack seven members of technical staff… with Steve Bruce present as Ian Atkins and Co are told they are not needed by new owners
- Ian Atkins was highest profile casualty in a purge of Aston Villa’s technical staff
- He was one of seven summoned to the training ground on Wednesday morning
- At Bodymoor Heath, they were told they were surplus to requirements
- Sportsmail understands Steve Bruce was present during the series of meetings
- Villa are trying to move in a new direction after the takeover by new owners
Ian Atkins, Aston Villa’s respected Chief European Scout, was the highest profile casualty in a purge of the club’s technical staff.
The 61-year-old was one of seven people summoned to the Bodymoor Heath training complex on Wednesday morning when they were told they were surplus to requirements. Sportsmail understands manager Steve Bruce was present during the series of meetings.
Atkins, who is vastly experienced and has managed nine clubs during his career, was only appointed to the role two years ago but he was jettisoned along with Tommy Mooney – who was Villa’s loan manager, three scouts, as well as scout co-ordinators John Harrower and Mark Britland.
Ian Atkins was the highest profile casualty in a purge of Aston Villa’s technical staff
Steve Bruce was present as Atkins and six others were told they were surplus to requirements
There had been differences of opinion during the summer over transfer targets, with Bruce favouring a certain style of experienced player while Atkins was eager to promote more youthful players from the continent.
It is understood Dave Downes, whose task is source talent for the club’s Academy, has been given a stay of execution but there could be one more departure with Tom Bates, the performance psychologist, facing an uncertain future.
Villa officials made it clear they are moving in a new direction following the takeover by new owners Naseef Sawiris and Wes Edens and there are suggestions from within inside the club that they will be appointing a new Sporting Director in the coming weeks.
Christian Purslow, the club’s new Chief Executive, would favour appointing Eduardo Macia, who is currently Leicester’s Head of Recruitment. The pair worked together at Liverpool in 2010. There are, though, other candidates in the frame.
This has been a turbulent period off the field with Tony Coton, who had been head of domestic scouting, having left in June. Steve Round, who held the position of Director of Football, followed him out the door in July.
Villa are trying to move in a new direction after the takeover by Naseef Sawiris and Wes Edens