A slur on our club! McLeish condemns Villa trio Herd, Collins and Delph after brawl
14:49 GMT, 4 May 2012
Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish believes the behaviour of Fabian Delph, Chris Herd and James Collins in an incident at a nightclub earlier this week is a 'slur on the club'.
The trio have been disciplined by the club for their part in a nightclub fracas during the early hours of Tuesday morning which followed Villa's annual awards dinner.
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Tempers flare: Video footage shows Chris Herd (white shirt) being held back while James Collins stands in the background
Herd then moves back while Fabian Delph (foreground) tries to calm the situation down
The players have apologised for their
actions, but McLeish is clearly still very unhappy about the unwelcome
attention it has brought.
He said: 'It's a slur on the club. I
feel for (club owner) Randy Lerner and the fans of Aston Villa Football
Club but the players need to show some respect for themselves and the
The trio were fined for their
conduct, although it is understood Delph was treated more leniently
after acting as peacemaker in the incident.
McLeish added: 'We knew about it on
Tuesday and some players broke the rules so we acted very swiftly on
'We're very disappointed. We won't tolerate that kind of
Drama: James Collins (below left) and Chris Herd (above) were involved in a stand-off with members of the club's staff, while team-mate Fabian Delph is said to have acted as peacemaker in the incident
Speaking about Herd and Collins,
McLeish added: 'If selected I think the most important thing is that
they've been punished.
'They've shown a bit of humility which is the
least we can expect.
'It happens at every club. It happens at even the top clubs. It's the culture of one pint too many.
'I think it reflects badly on Randy
Lerner, the club, myself and most importantly the players themselves.
'They owe us. They have to give us a performance that we will be proud
All three players issued apologetic statements earlier today.
SORRY ISN'T THE HARDEST WORD
JAMES COLLINS APOLOGY
'I'm sorry for what has happened and I take responsibility for my actions.
'It does not show me in a very good light and does not put the club in a very good light.
'I know I should not have been out in
a club with my wife after the end-of-season dinner at that time in the
morning and I was wrong to be in that position.
'It was a misunderstanding and was resolved quickly but I understand how it looks and I apologise for that.
'As a senior, experienced player, I understand I am in a position of responsibility.
'I let myself get into a position in which I didn’t act responsibly and I apologise for this.
'It was Monday night, it was early in the week, six days before we next play and I didn’t have training the next day.
'But I know I’ve let myself down,
I’ve let the club down, I’ve let the manager down and most of all I’ve
let down the fans of Aston Villa who have been great to me.
'We have a very important game of
football on Sunday at Villa Park against Tottenham and I’m looking
forward to giving my full commitment, as always, and securing three
CHRIS HERD APOLOGY
'I would like to apologise for what
happened on Monday night and I apologise for being out at that time. We
had gone to a club after the end-of-season dinner with girlfriends and
wives accompanying us.
'It was no one’s intention to get involved in any trouble but I realise that my actions on the night were not acceptable.
'Even if I felt at the time that the
prior situation inside the nightclub had not been dealt with properly, I
still should not have acted in the manner in which I did. I’m sorry to
the fans and I’ll do everything I can to make it up to them as they have
been fantastic since I’ve come into the team.
'I would also like to apologise to
the club and my immediate aim is to help the team to finish the season
strongly and to secure our position in the Premier League.'
FABIAN DELPH APOLOGY
'I'm sorry for being out on Monday
night, the early hours of Tuesday morning and I apologise to the club,
the fans, the chairman, the manager and my colleagues.
'I am injured, I won’t be fit again until pre-season and I probably thought that going out would not carry any consequences.
'I was sober, I was in control of my actions and I did try to calm down the situation. I didn’t hit out or strike anyone but I should not have been there and I was wrong to be in this position.'