MX23RW : Monday, December 10 15:57:47

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
1Liverpool1613303462842
2Manchester CityMan City1613214593641
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs16120430161436
4Chelsea16104233132034
5Arsenal16104235201534
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd167542826226
7Everton156542117423
8Bournemouth167272526-123
9Leicester CityLeicester166462120122
10Wolverhampton WanderersWolves166461719-222
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham166372325-221
12Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton166371922-321
13Watford156271821-320
14Cardiff CityCardiff1642101530-1514
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle163491322-913
16Crystal Palace1633101323-1012
17Burnley1633101532-1712
18Huddersfield TownHuddersfield1624101027-1710
19Southampton161691330-179
20Fulham1623111640-249

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