Incoming Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert is being handed a £20 million transfer warchest.

The Sun says Lambert has permission to top it up with whatever cash he can raise through summer sales.

Last night's meeting left Lambert in no doubt he will be backed to hire and fire whoever he wants - regardless of reputation - to restore Villa's standing.

Chairman Randy Lerner was stung by accusations he had lost his passion for the club last season as Villa limped along under Alex McLeish.