ASTON VILLA co-chairman Tony Xia has been branded a “clown” for his reaction to the club’s managerial appointments.
Dean Smith has been poached from Brentford to succeed Steve Bruce as head coach while former skipper John Terry has returned as No.2.
Xia, who sold 55 per cent of his stake in the Championship club in July as a result of their financial crisis, broke his silence to welcome Terry back to Villa Park.
But the Chinese businessman failed to mention Smith in his statement on Twitter.
He wrote: “I believe JT has everything to grow‘ to be a great manager one day. Get the unfinished business done!”
And Xia’s failure to reference Smith’s arrival angered supporters.
One Twitter user said: “I think you’ll find Dean Smith’s the manager. Clown!”
Another wrote: “This is strange, no ‘welcome Dean’ (our actual manager) or good luck to the new team? Just JT will grow?”
A third added: “Did they mention Dean Smith to you in the memo Dr?”
While a fourth said: “Maybe you should show Dean Smith more respect.”
Smith and Terry will be assisted off the pitch by new sporting director Jesus Garcia Pitarch.
Reacting to their arrivals, Aston Villa CEO Christian Purslow said: “These three appointments represent the start of a new era and direction at Aston Villa and we are delighted to secure their services after an extensive search.
“Dean has a clear and successful coaching philosophy as well as a real understanding of Aston Villa Football Club. He is also knowledgeable about the Championship.
“The board welcomes him to the club and is looking forward to working with him and his staff.
“John is one of the most decorated players in English football, has an affinity with the club and is ready to make the next step in his career working alongside Dean.
“And Jesus also brings a huge amount of experience in his particular role having worked with some of the biggest clubs in Europe. He will ensure the club has an integrated approach running from the academy through the U23s and into the first-team.”
Smith will take charge of the team for the first time on Saturday, October 20 at home to Swansea City.