Directors David Bernstein and Mervyn King quit Aston Villa
Directors David Bernstein and Mervyn King have quit Aston Villa with immediate effect to plunge the relegated club deeper into a crisis.
Former Football Association chairman Bernstein only joined the club last month, following King's appointment in February. The pair have resigned just 48 hours after the club were relegated from the Barclays Premier League, the first time they have dropped out of the top flight since 1987.
But Villa also suggested they are closer to finding a buyer after owner Randy Lerner officially put them on the market almost two years ago. A club statement read: "It is with regret that Aston Villa today announces the resignations of Mervyn King and David Bernstein as directors of the club.
"The club would like to thank both for all their efforts throughout their short time as members of the board. A search to appoint a new manager remains a priority. The chairman, Steve Hollis, is currently engaged in extensive negotiations in relation to the sale of the club. Brian Little will continue to advise the chairman on all football-related matters."
Chairman Hollis has been conducting an internal review of the running of the club since he was appointed in January. Chief executive Tom Fox and sporting director Hendrik Almstadt left last month as part of the on-going process.
Bernstein and King were also key figures in the search for a new manager after Remi Garde departed in March. Bernstein headed up the club's football board and was expected to help lead the appointment of a new boss ahead of next season's campaign in the Sky Bet Championship.
They have lost their last nine games while Eric Black has overseen three defeats as caretaker manager. The club are yet to speak to several potential candidates with David Moyes and Nigel Pearson reportedly among those in the frame for the job.