Aston Villa's Agbonlahor suspended over 'party'
Relegated club hit by more chaos as veteran striker is pictured surrounded by laughing gas canisters
Just when it seemed Aston Villa's season had reached rock bottom, the Birmingham club has been hit by more problems after two members of the board quit and striker Gabby Agbonlahor was suspended.
Agbonlahor was spotted out on the town on the night the team dropped out of the Premier League.
He was "pictured partying in a hotel room with pals... [where] the carpet was littered with cans of legal high nitrous oxide", says The Sun, and later seen "downing shots and horsing around with hangers-on" at a London hotel.
Villa's longest serving player was not in the squad for the defeat to Manchester United that sealed the club's fate because he is "overweight and unfit", adds the tabloid.
The former England striker was briefly dropped from the team earlier this month, after he was pictured smoking and drinking while on a break. The new images have led to another suspension.
The row has only added to the "sense of chaos" at Villa Park, says ESPN. The team have won only three games this season and have lost nine in a row, while two members of the board – former FA chairman David Bernstein and ex-Bank of England governor Mervyn King - quit 48 hours after relegation was confirmed.
"The pair had only taken up their boardroom positions in 2016 and both were key figures in the search for a new manager," says the site.
In their resignation letters, the two men made it clear they felt they could not work in the existing Villa set up.
"The issues at the club are fundamental and the solutions are radical and do not lend themselves to compromise," said Bernstein.
Former players have also rounded on the current squad. Stan Collymore and Paul McGrath lambasted defender Joleon Lescott after he said relegation had taken a weight off the players' shoulders, Collymore pointing out that the club was making many people redundant as a result of relegation.
Added to this, ex-Villan Shaun Teale has demanded the team sack Agbonlahor, branding him a
Fans "will continue their protests against owner Randy Lerner during this Saturday's game against Southampton", adds ESPN.