Randy Lerner's right-hand man General Charles Krulak has hit out at Martin O'Neill's decision to quit Aston Villa and insisted: "No one person is bigger than the club."
Director Krulak is adamant that O'Neill received full financial backing from Lerner during his four-year spell at Villa. But he claimed the former Celtic boss was "unwilling" to come to terms with helping Villa to become more stable financially.
Krulak told the Villa fansite VillaTalk.com: "There is absolutely no question that Martin did a good job for Villa and I have said that over and over. At the same time, I can promise everyone that he knew and understood the long-range plans for the club and bought into them."
Krulak added: "He knew full well about the need to bring wages in line with revenue - the same as every Premier League club. He was absolutely supported by the owner during his time with the club. All one needs to do is look at the money spent.
"The reality is that the wage-to-revenue issue was not addressed and Martin apparently was unwilling to help address it. He quit.
"No one person is bigger than our club - not me, not Randy, not Paul Faulkner (chief executive), not Martin.
"What is interesting is that, apparently, only three of those named understand that fact."
Krulak insists Lerner will not be rushed into finding a replacement for O'Neill. But he pledged that Lerner will be making public his thoughts on events during the last 48 hours and the future.
He said: "What I will say is that we recognise this is an important decision and one that needs to be done rather quickly but, equally important, in a manner that gets the right man. We do know how important this will be. No-one is thinking it will be easy.
"The reality is that we have four days before our first game and rushing out to get a manager is not the smart thing to do just to have someone on the sidelines."
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