Steve Round: Aston Villa director of football leaves Championship club

Steve Round
Steve Round worked as assistant manager at Manchester United during David Moyes' time in charge of the Red Devils

Aston Villa director of football Steve Round has left the Championship club.

Round, 47, who was previously assistant manager at Everton and Manchester United, joined Villa in September 2016.

Villa have endured a turbulent summer since their play-off final defeat by Fulham in May.

It is reported that they need to raise around £40m to comply with Financial Fair Play, owner Tony Xia could sell up and ex-chief executive Keith Wyness is suing them for constructive dismissal.

Round had also worked in various backroom roles for England, Manchester City, Newcastle United, Middlesbrough and Derby County, where his playing career began.

Analysis

BBC Sport's Simon Stone

Round's exit marks the end of the 'Villa Engine'.

A project Round championed, it was supposed to encompass facets such as style of play and a feeling of pride in the club.

They are noble words, but they don't mean much and, given the tricky spot Villa find themselves in, it is questionable what their actual value is.

It might be too simplistic to say Villa failed to get promoted last season because the players Round recruited were not good enough but it certainly was not through a lack of investment in the squad and the buck, in this instance, is stopping with the man who was David Moyes' long-time assistant at Everton and Manchester United.

Round's exit will allow the whole player recruitment strategy to be streamlined, meaning manager Steve Bruce and club secretary Sharon Barnhurst will be responsible for driving through signings as approved by the Villa board, led by owner Dr Tony Xia, with the input of close associate Rongtian He and chief commercial officer Luke Organ.

Given Villa's financial plight, the clear hope is that the senior and youth sections of the club's playing side can work together in a manner that was not happening before.

Meanwhile, it is understood Villa will make a further payment to HMRC shortly, a month ahead of schedule, which will avoid a repeat of the potential threat of a winding up petition they were faced with at the beginning of last month.

BBC WM's Mark Regan

This latest development adds to what has already become a summer of turmoil for Aston Villa.

It is slightly less than six weeks since the full-time whistle blew in the play-off final at Wembley to end Villa's hopes of promotion and condemn them to another season in the Championship.

Since then it has been a summer of chaos. There have been stories of tax bills, there was the departure of the former CEO Keith Wyness in June and this development has simply added to a huge sense of uncertainty about where Villa are going.

For now, manager Steve Bruce will assume control over any deals involving transfer activity but, with just under six weeks to go to the start of the new Championship season, Villa are in a state of flux that shows no sign of abating.