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Gary Neville hits back at fans mocking Salford City over latest revelations

Gary Neville hits back at fans mocking Salford City on social media over the latest revelations surrounding the League Two outfit.

In May, the Ammies sacked manager Gary Bowyer after just over a year at the club, looking for a fourth manager since their 2019 promotion to the English Football League.

Co-owner Gary Neville said he would be prepared to come under further fire for his previous comments about sack-happy boards.

After entering the EFL three years ago, Salford wanted a quick promotion up to League One, however a 10th-place finish this season means they will have to endure another campaign in the fourth tier.

Given the club finished eighth in 2020/21, in which Bowyer took charge of, hopes of promotion for 2021/22 has gone on to cost him his job.

Neville has regularly slammed Premier League owners for changing managers too often, including former club Manchester United.

Salford have since announced Man Utd under-23s coach Neil Wood as their next manager, but as the appointment is made, Neville is labelled as a hypocrite after regularly seen slamming Premier League owners on Sky Sports for changing managers too often, including former club Manchester United.

Bowyer came in for Richie Wellens, who Neville dismissed just nine days after he guided the club to EFL Trophy success while sitting just six points outside the League Two playoffs places.

A huge amount ridiculed his decision to dismiss so many managers, Sky Sports colleague Jamie Carragher jumping onto Twitter to quoted an old Neville tweet questioning how managers can build teams without receiving two to three years from owners. A Manchester United fan page also brought up old comments where Neville said the Red Devils ‘lacked decency’ by sacking David Moyes in his first season at Old Trafford.

Jamie Carragher will undoubtedly have his say.
Gary Neville said Man Utd 'lacked decency' for David Moyes sacking.
Gary Neville hits back at fans mocking Salford City over latest revelations

Graham Alexander was Salford’s first manager of their EFL return after being at the helm for their promotion from the National League. Though in October 2020, he was axed and after Paul Scholes’ brief interim spell, Wellens arrived in November of the same year.

Bowyer was in charge from March 2021, but with Neville and his fellow Class of ’92 co-owners wanting a quicker rise up the English football pyramid, failure to reach the League Two playoffs is seemingly a deal-breaker for any coach in the hot seat.

Gary Neville has also defended the club’s spending policy in the wake of criticism.

Earlier this season, it was revealed that the club’s parent company, Project 92 Limited, lost more than £4.7m last year – which equates to an average of £91,000 per week. Project 92 Ltd was formed by old teammates of Neville, his brother Phil, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, David Beckham and Nicky Butt. Each of the six former players, together with Singaporean business magnate Peter Lim, own the League Two club.

Speaking to Sky Sports last month, Neville said: “We’ve invested enormous amounts of money in the last seven or eight years. But it’s all myself, David, Ryan, Paul, Nicky, Phil and Peter.

“Peter owns 50 per cent, we own 50 per cent. We’ve put lots of money in ourselves. We’ve chosen to do that. I’m not against owner funding. We put it in at the start of the season. The club is obviously robust in that sense.

“We only spend the money that we have. It is a lot of money to lose but we’ve come up from step eight and had to spend millions and millions of pounds on this stadium. And we knew that was going to happen at the very beginning. We do one day long for sustainability at the club.

“But we’re trying to build a fanbase in a city that’s not had a Football League club ever. It’s new to us.

“We could spend our money on other things. If we were driving fancy cars and doing all sorts of things with our money people might complain as well. But we’ve put it into our local football club and it’s significant capital from ourselves, the class of ’92.”

Neville also said to claims that the losses meant promotion for 2021/22 needed to be achieved in order to allay financial concerns.

He refutes that, going on to say: “The money that we put in is manageable between the seven of us. We’re comfortable with our position. There’s no financial pressure (to get promoted), but there is sporting disappointment.”

In terms of wages, Salford City’s wage bill increased by 10 per cent from the previous year. For every £100 of income they are spending £143 on salaries. Since the purchase of the club the former Man Utd footballers have invested heavily, transforming the club’s infrastructure, turning them professional and guiding them into the EFL in 2019. But now face a fourth season at League Two level.

Meanwhile, former Salford City boss Richie Wellens slams Gary Neville over the running of the club, opening up in an interview with The i and admits he hadn’t taken the job for footballing reasons.

“You don’t get to make a long-term plan if you don’t first deal with the short-term,” Wellens said. “At Salford I wasn’t given any time at all [to implement a style]. I was working with a previous manager’s players, used to a totally different style to what I have.

“The decision to go to Salford was not a professional one. We were in [Covid] lockdown, I had a family back up in Manchester where we were going through our own problems. The move was for the wrong reasons.

“We were getting 13,000 at Swindon regularly. I had the club just where I wanted it to be, it was my baby. I loved it. Then at Salford, it was ‘let’s just win this week’, no plan about how we would try and win.

“Did I enjoy working there? No. I have certain standards, certain disciplines I think need to be in place in a football club, things any manager will tell you they need. I didn’t think they had them at Salford. When I was working in that kind of environment, I couldn’t enjoy it.

“I worked with a wonderful chairman, Lee Power, at Swindon. He let me run the football club, every decision was by me. It was all done with clarity and decisiveness. I was allowed to go with my gut.

“Then I walked into a situation where Gary Neville was the chairman with the Class of ’92 behind him. I didn’t handle that situation as best I could. Did I make mistakes? Absolutely. Could I have handled Gary differently and had better lines of communication? We could both have done.

“I want a good relationship with my chairman. I want to be able to talk to him about football over a coffee or a pint. What I don’t want is conversations that are meaningless and just for the sake of a conversation. Topics being brought up that shouldn’t have been in my remit.”

Gary Neville and Simon Jordan came to blows on social media with the row taking place on Twitter after Neville praised the UK government’s decision to introduce an independent regulator in football, having campaigned for it himself. This means that a regulator will have the power to sanction clubs who break financial rules, allow fans to have a greater say in the running of the game and scrutinise all prospective new owners..

Neville described it as “the biggest reform in English football since 1992” – the year the Premier League was formed.

However, as the club, at the time, were plotting to claim a playoff place, Neville and his colleagues were slammed for how much they’ve put into Salford after details claimed that Project 92 Limited – the club’s parent company – is losing £91,000 each week. See more on those figures HERE.

Former Crystal Palace chairman turned talkSPORT presenter Simon Jordan has condemned Gary Neville for his comments about the new regulator. “How about it doesn’t deal with the one that needs to be dealt with… the redistribution of finances,” tweeted Jordan.

“Or did that detail evade you? If the absurd notion of an independent regular occurs, let’s hope your club Salford observes FFP (Financial Fair Play) and SCMP (Salary Cost Management Protocol) – as I’m not sure it does!”

Neville replied: “The sports minister repeated what the report says – that if football doesn’t do it, then a regulator will step in. The Premier League know the acceptable EFL deal. You’re aware through League Two SCMP rules, we put our cash in up front at Salford. Cash up front/bank guarantee should be in every league!”

Jordan said: “The report (independent fan-led review) is laughable – 162 pages of absurd, misrepresentative, poor thinking. It’s flawed inaccurate and any half-sensible person will drive a bus through 80 per cent of it. With the other 20 per cent having efficacy. By the way, get your house in order with FFP – as huge losses at Salford is hypocrisy.”

Neville added: I don’t support FFP without an owner funding model and haven’t for 10 to 12 years. No football executives have ever moved the government as much as they’ve moved with this report! Whilst I’m always sceptical of this lot (Boris Johnson’s government), your analysis is crass and incorrect. Tracey Crouch (the MP leading the proposals) has cross-party support.”

Jordan ended: “It’s the blind leading the blind is the cross-party support ideal you are advocating. Sustainable football clubs are the bedrock of what is required, not owner funded models… grow up! Stop playing to the gallery.”

G Nev left a laughing emoji.

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