MX23RW : Thursday, February 21 22:53:50

Dean Saunders: 'Aston Villa bigger club than Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur'

Aston Villa "are bigger than Chelsea, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Everton," according to the club's former striker Dean Saunders.

Dean Saunders has suggested that former side Aston Villa are a bigger club than a string of high-flying Premier League teams, including Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City and Everton.

The Villans are one of five English teams to have lifted the European Cup, triumphing against Bayern Munich in 1982, but they are currently languishing in the lower reaches of the second tier.

Saunders, the winner of one League Cup crown during his three years at Villa Park, claims that the way the club has been run is to blame for the seven-time league champions' fall from grace.

Speaking to BBC Sport, he said: "Villa are bigger than Chelsea, Manchester City, Tottenham and Everton. Compare them to Tottenham, who were trying to break into the Champions League at the same time as [Martin] O'Neill was in charge, or Everton, who are trying to do it now - there is no difference in the size of those clubs.

"Villa are actually bigger than both of them. The difference is the way they have been run. That is the reason Villa have gone in the opposite direction. So instead of doing a Spurs, they have done a Sunderland - they were hanging on and just avoiding relegation for the past four or five years, but it was inevitable it was going to happen."

It was announced this week that Villa recorded an operating loss of £81.3m in their final season in the Premier League.


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Joe Allen in action at a Wales training session on March 22, 2016
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City27212474205465
2Liverpool26205159154465
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs26200654252960
4Manchester UnitedMan Utd26156552351751
5Arsenal26155653371650
6Chelsea26155645291650
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2611693433139
8Watford2610793434037
9Everton2796123639-333
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham2696113239-733
11Bournemouth26103133747-1033
12Leicester CityLeicester2695123134-332
13Crystal Palace2676132734-727
14Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2676132839-1127
15Burnley2676132947-1827
16Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2667132234-1225
17Cardiff CityCardiff2674152447-2325
18Southampton2659122844-1624
19Fulham2645172558-3317
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2625191448-3411

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