The departure of David Bernstein and Lord King from the Aston Villa board was triggered by a bitter fall-out with the club’s owner Randy Lerner. Bernstein and King wrote to Villa chairman Steve Hollis on Monday, tendering their resignations with immediate effect. It can now be revealed that their decisions were the result of a highly unpleasant exchange with Lerner. After joining Villa in March and February respectively, Bernstein and King grew increasingly frustrated at the lack of progress they were able to make.
This came to a head when email communication between the pair, which included criticism of Lerner, was leaked to the US businessman. Lerner responded with an email of his own that featured a stinging rebuke to Bernstein and King, which they felt left their positions untenable. The incident was hinted at in King’s resignation letter, which he started by telling Hollis: “You will be aware of recent communications between the owner of Aston Villa and members of the Football Board.