Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill has assured the club's supporters that owner Randy Lerner has lost none of his passion for the club by insisting the American business tycoon is in it for the long haul.
Lerner took over the reigns at the club from 'Deadly' Doug Ellis in August 2006 and he seemed to be enjoying his role at the club, particularly last season where he was often seen at Villa Park cheering on his side.
However, Lerner has been a notable absentee more often that not this campaign, devoting more of his time to his NFL franchise Cleveland Browns, which has caused many to question his commitment to the Villians.
Despite this, Ulsterman O'Neill has dismissed any notiong Lerner has lost his zest for the club and insists he still watches all of Villa's games back in the US.
"He [Lerner] has seen less games this season live with us than he has done before, but he has seen all the games and gets them at his home to watch," he told the Daily Mirror.
O'Neill admitted he can understand why the 47-year-old has returned to the US and has reiterated that he is still as ambitious as ever to make Villa one of the Premier League's leading 'brands'.
"I don't really have any conversations with him about the Cleveland Browns as I have enough concerns of my own here. But I don't think he has lost any ambition here because of it.
"He is committed to making Villa better, improving the stadium at Villa Park - and those are things he wants to do here at the football club."