Aston Villa face MELTDOWN if they're relegated this season.

The Sunday Mirror says top-paid Villa players Darren Bent, Stephen Ireland, Shay Given and Charles N'Zogbia do not have relegation clauses in their contracts.

With Gabriel Agbonlahor and Alan Hutton also on healthy deals that run to 2015, Villa cannot afford to go down without slashing the wage bill.

Villa's annual wage bill for those six alone - who have all been dumped or demoted by manager Paul Lambert - is just under a staggering £17million.

A Villa Park source said: "The big earners do not have relegation clauses and the club cannot afford to keep paying them if they go down. Their only option will be to find new clubs for them."