Aston Villa defender Jores Okore is facing disciplinary action after caretaker manager Eric Black revealed he refused to play for the club.
The 23-year-old will be added to a list of controversies and crises at the club this season, as they saw their relegation to the Championship confirmed last weekend.
Aside from the protests against owner Randy Lerner, Joleon Lescott’s comments last Saturday and Gabby Agbonlahor’s off-the-pitch antics, Black will now have to deal with another situation in the final few weeks of the campaign.
“He didn’t want to be considered to go on the bench [against Bournemouth],” he said, as noted by ESPN FC. “That was his initial reaction.
“Then he reflected on it over the weekend and then said he didn’t want to be considered if he wasn’t going to be involved.
“I gave him the weekend to reflect on it then got him in again with my assistant, then we asked his opinion again on where he stood on it and whether he has reflected on what he’d said. And he carried on with his stance.”
Black went on to insist that Villa remains a great club that has been “wounded badly” this season, and he remains confident that the right people will arrive in the summer in order to get the club back into the English top flight as soon as possible.
As reported by the Birmingham Mail, a group led by US tycoon Larry Ellison has been linked with a takeover of the club, and that will undoubtedly serve as the first big step for them to get back on track.
Provided that a sale goes through, it will then in turn start the motions of appointing a long-term manager, as well as potentially investing in the squad to ensure that it is ready for the Championship next season.
Villa have faced plenty of turmoil this season, but a change at the top will have a positive effect that will likely filter down. What happens to the likes of Agbonlahor, Lescott and Okore is not quite as clear just yet.