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Little returns as Aston Villa make changes at the top

Aston Villa have announced former player and manager Brian Little will be returning to the club to act as an advisor to the board.

Little has strong roots with the Midlands side - he won the League Cup twice with Villa during a playing career that was cut short by a knee injury at the age of 26.

He then returned to Villa Park in 1994, taking over the managerial reins from Ron Atkinson and steering them to further League Cup glory in 1996.

Meanwhile, David Bernstein - the former chairman of the Football Association - has been appointed to the board with immediate effect, with the arrival of the duo part of an ongoing review into the structure of the club.

"I was delighted when David agreed to join the board and when Brian likewise agreed to join as an advisor to the board," Villa chairman Steve Hollis told the club's website.

"From the initial findings in our review of the club's operations it is clear that we need a board that is equipped with the breadth of talent that will lead us to make better decisions.

"Both David's and Brian's experience will be invaluable in this respect."

Little added: "I'm delighted to have been invited to assist the board.

"I've held various roles at the football club over a 46 year period and I know my experience and love for the club will help shape a positive future for Aston Villa."

Hollis only took over from owner Randy Lerner as chairman in January, while former Governor of the Bank of England Sir Mervyn King was named a director in February.

Villa are nine points from safety at the foot of the Premier League table with nine games to go in the season.