MX23RW : Friday, October 19 11:55:29

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 City86202131820
2Chelsea86201851320
3Liverpool86201531220
4Arsenal86021910918
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs8602157818
6Bournemouth85121612416
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves843196315
8Manchester UnitedMan Utd84131314-113
9Watford84131112-113
10Leicester CityLeicester84041412212
11Everton83321312112
12Burnley82241012-28
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton8224913-48
14Crystal Palace821559-47
15West Ham UnitedWest Ham8215813-57
16Southampton8125614-85
17Fulham8125921-125
18Huddersfield TownHuddersfield8035417-133
19Newcastle UnitedNewcastle8026613-72
20Cardiff CityCardiff8026417-132

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