Aston Villa fans and shareholders are "baffled" by the club´s failure to retain the services of midfielder Eirik Bakke for the remainder of the season.

Bakke has been allowed to return to Leeds after a loan spell because Villa felt extending his stay or making the deal permanent was "not viable". With David O´Leary´s small squad already being stretched to breaking point, Villa Shareholders Association chairman Jonathan Fear is now concerned the club could be drawn into a battle against the drop.

Fear, who is also the spokesman for Villa Fans Combined, told PA Sport: "It is baffling what is going on. If we are in such a poor state financially it does beg the question ´where has the money gone?´ We are only just above the relegation zone and if we get another injury or two, there is plenty of the season left for Villa to get sucked back into the relegation battle."

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