This is a joint story with Liverpool4ever
Villa manager Gerard Houllier has parted company with the club.
The Villa directors ended Houllier's six-month reign even though results were starting to pick up
"I'd rather have stayed as manager but I leave on good terms with everybody. I may have left Villa, but Villa will not leave me," said Houllier.
Villa owner Randy Lerner said: "The board decided change was necessary if we were to realistically challenge for the title next season."
Alan Curbishley and Rafael Benitez are favourites to take over from Houllier.
But BBC Sport understands Chris Hughton is not among the frontrunners to succeed the Frenchman.
Alan Curbishley 3/1
Rafael Benitez 5/1
Phil Brown 7/1
Martin Jol 10/1
Fabio Cappello 25/1
Sven Goran Errickson 30/1
is he coming back?