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Martin O'Neill has resigned as Aston Villa manager just five days before the start of the Premier League season.
The popular Irishman led the club to three consecutive sixth-place finishes but was believed to be frustrated with the club's owner Randy Lerner over Villa's lack of clout in the transfer market.
Reserve team manager Kevin MacDonald takes over on a temporary basis and will prepare the team for the visit of West Ham on Saturday.
O'Neill said: "I have enjoyed my time at Aston Villa immensely. It's obviously a wrench to be leaving such a magnificent club.
"I would like to pay tribute to the Villa players, my coaching staff and the Villa supporters for all the support and encouragement they have given both the club and me personally during my time as manager. I wish them all the best for the future.
"I will obviously be assisting the club in the immediate short-term with regard to the handover of my duties."
The 58-year-old joined Villa in 2006 and won acclaim for building a young side based on local talent. However, he was believed to be unhappy at Villa's inability to keep hold of their top players.
Former captain Gareth Barry joined Manchester City last summer, while James Milner is also expected to make the move to Eastlands this month. Winger Ashley Young has also been linked with a move away from the club.
The club's chief executive Paul Faulkner said: "The club would like to thank Martin for the great work he has done at Aston Villa over the past four years.
"He has helped to establish the club in the upper echelons of the Premier League, has taken us to Wembley and we have also qualified for European competition for the past three seasons under his management. We wish him the best in the future."
One of the most hyped-up small club managers in the Allardyce category. He was asked to manage properly for once without a huge cheque book and he threw his toys.
Even Ferguson is having to curtail his spending in this climate and this idiot fails to understand what balancing the books means
- 2 Replies to Fred E
last year they sold Barry this year it seems they want to Sell both Milner And Ashley Young
they are 2 of Villas best players
It also appears they were NOT going to reinvest any of the funds generated into the playing staff
Villa have one of the smallest first team squads in the prem
and while the chairman has spent money he has i am told by friends who are fans ect at villa park spent loads on the training center at bodymoor heath and the villa hotel
It is all very well the credit squeeze ect and coparison with the sale of CR7 but there is not comparison as Fergie had the depth of squad to cope O Niel had already trimmed to the bare bones that could operate at the highest level
we shall see what sort of manager they attract
many are wanting to send back their season tickets and if the Villa hire the yank bradley fear the very worsed