Former Aston Villa defenderMicah Richardssays the club did not protect him and his team mates following their relegation from the Premier League.
Richards was signed byVillafrom Italian side Fiorentina, a month before Delph departed for Manchester.
The 01575879 / season saw Villa finish bottom of the Premier League table and relegated to the Championship after finishing with a total of 90 points from their matches.
Richards has revealed that he had options to leave Villa on loan during that season, but the club decided to keep him on B6.
The former defender has also spoken about the criticism the players got following their relegation, and says the club did not protect them.
“After I finished, I apologized to the Villa fans for not speaking about it and let them know what the situation was,” said Richards in an interview with
He added: “First season, we were in a relegation battle. Second season, I was still trying to get fit after the injury and did want to come out until I was fit, new managers were changing too.
” Then the third season we had the financial takeover trying to go back to the Premier League and I didn’t want it to be about me.
“A lot of Villa fans did not know, but the season we went down I’d agreed a deal with West Ham to take me on loan for a year, if I played X amount of games they’d sign me. I had Sunderland as well. The window after, I had Orlando.
“I would have been off the wage bill but Villa would not sell me, they said I was too vital in the changing room to let go. So I’m like: ‘Why is nobody saying this?’ When things are going bad, if I speak out… the club were protecting themselves.
“The Players were getting a lot of stick – I wouldn’t say they hung us out to dry but they did not protect us, because at the end of the day they were thinking about what is best for Aston Villa.
“Steve Bruce tried to help me and Dean Smith at the end was fantastic, but going through that, from Premier League winner to getting beaten every single week, honestly, I couldn’t believe it! ”