London - Aston Villa suffered another blow just days after their relegation from the Premier League as directors David Bernstein and Mervyn King quit with immediate effect on Monday.
Former Football Association chairman Bernstein only joined Villa last month following the February appointment of King, who had previously served as the Governor of the Bank of England.
The pair have walked away from Villa after the club were relegated for the first time since 1987 following Saturday's 1-0 defeat at Manchester United.
Bernstein and King were supposed to be key figures in the search for a new manager after Remi Garde departed in March.
Bernstein headed up the club's football board and was expected to help lead the appointment of a new boss ahead of next season's campaign in the Championship.
Villa announced their departures and at the same time suggested they are closer to finding a buyer to take over from American owner Randy Lerner, who put the club on the market two years ago.
A club statement read: "It is with regret that Aston Villa today announces the resignations of Mervyn King and David Bernstein as directors of the club.
"The club would like to thank both for all their efforts throughout their short time as members of the board.
"A search to appoint a new manager remains a priority. The chairman, Steve Hollis, is currently engaged in extensive negotiations in relation to the sale of the club.
"Brian Little will continue to advise the chairman on all football-related matters."
Hollis has been conducting an internal review of the running of the club since he was appointed in January.
Chief executive Tom Fox and sporting director Hendrik Almstadt left last month as part of the ongoing process.
They have lost their last nine games while Eric Black has overseen three defeats as caretaker manager since replacing Garde, who himself only came in earlier this season to succeed the sacked Tim Sherwood.
Villa are yet to speak to potential candidates, with former Manchester United manager David Moyes and ex-Leicester boss Nigel Pearson reportedly among those in the frame for the job.