Ex-Villa boss Gregory: I was blocked from signing Van Nistelrooy, Lampard

Former Aston Villa boss John Gregory has revealed how his ambitions were blocked by chairman Doug Ellis.

He led Villa to four consecutive top-half finishes between 1998 and 2001, but there were complaints the club did not push the boundaries. He quit in 2002.

"I wanted Champions League and Doug wanted to stay in the black financially," he recalled to the Daily Mail.

"We wanted Ruud van Nistelrooy in 2000 for £19m and got Juan Pablo Angel for £9.5m. We also wanted Frank Lampard. He went to Chelsea.

"Doug said ‘look at Leeds’ and that was even before the disaster there. They’ve lost generations of fans, they’re still struggling. Doug didn’t want that and nor does Randy. Despite his money he wants sustainability."

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