Cape Town - Joey Barton believes that former Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood should shoulder some of the blame for the 'mess' the club currently face.
The controversial midfielder believes that the transfer policy of the club under Sherwood wasn't good enough and the hierarchy of the club needs to be blamed, not current manager Remi Garde.
"I don't think Tim Sherwood is completely blameless, he has to take responsibility and I think he will", Barton told BBC 5 Live.
"He is big and strong enough to do that.
"He had got to have a say in the players they brought in. Everybody knew it was Russian roulette really."
Barton admits he feels sorry for the die-hard Villa fans and that the owners should look at the predicament of Leeds United and Sheffield Wednesday and that something drastic needs to change or else Villa might not play Premier league football for a while.
"I heard a quote that came from [Aston Villa owner] Randy Lerner or a Randy Lerner source where he said 'well, even if we go down we're still Aston Villa'.
"That's the kind of mindset that's going on at that football club. Well Leeds United thought that. Sheffield Wednesday thought that. There's a lot of big clubs that have thought that.
"If Villa go down I don't see them coming back up. They have a good academy, but I use this word, taking it into context, if you have muppets running your football club - you are in trouble.
"Paddy Reilly is a guy who can give you advice and numbers, he shouldn't be heading up your recruitment policy, he is not able to do that, he should be a part of things.
"Remi Garde won't get the players in January that they would have in the summer, to do so they will have to over pay. The scary thing is it is the fans who will suffer, the diehard fans who go week-in-week-out.
"They have someone running the football club who clearly isn't qualified to do so. Garde has run a big club before, isn't a bad manager, you could give Jose Mourinho the job and he would struggle - it's a mess. Villa face a long time in the wilderness."