David O'Leary remains insistent that Aston Villa's on-off takeover saga is not having a detrimental effect on his team, writes Ged Scott.
Following Friday night's announcement that Villa had appointed financial advisers Rothschild to act for them, chairman Doug Ellis appears little advanced in his plan to sell the club.
Uncertainty over the immediate future has tied manager O'Leary's hands in the transfer market.
Loan signing Eirik Bakke was allowed to return to Leeds last week, despite being contracted for another fortnight. O'Leary has been told that he has no money for players in the January transfer window.
To the outside footballing world, a year on from being allowed to enter the January market place to spend £2 million on expensive African flop Eric Djemba-Djemba, it seems a bizarre situation.
But O'Leary is as adamant now as he was when the takeover story broke on October 30 that his players should not hide behind boardroom uncertainty. Only patchy home form has kept Villa in the bottom half of the table.
"I can honestly say that the takeover has not affected the team," O'Leary said. "We can't use this as an excuse. Some of the goals we have conceded this season have been from an inconsistency caused by problems which you could certainly cure.
"But we haven't got the financial clout to go and cure them. I just try to do the best I can with what I've got and let the other side of the business take care of itself.
"I don't got bogged down on things that happen on the inside."
For the moment, O'Leary, like almost everyone else in the football world, is in the dark.