Aston Villa are in their worst "crisis" for decades, according to the club's new chairman Steven Hollis.

The Midlands club are bottom of the top flight and 10 points from safety.

"In football terms, this is a crisis. This is the worst position this club has been in for many a decade," Hollis told BBC Sport's Pat Murphy.

Hollis insisted the "chequebook hasn't been locked away" if manager Remi Garde wants to sign players and also defended club owner Randy Lerner.

United States-based Lerner, who bought Villa in 2006, announced at the end of last season he was looking to sell the club and has been criticised by some of their fans.

Hollis pointed out that the club were "in the top six where the owner has put the most money in", in a league including Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham.

"Randy has actually put more than £200m in player signings, new money, coming into this over the last 10 years," added Hollis.

The Villa chairman said "spending big cheques" was not going to help ease the club's predicament and instead believes stability is the key.

"Five different managers in five seasons, how can new players coming in or existing players hired by the previous manager know what the game plan is?" he said.