Gary Neville has reflected on England’s Euro 2016 campaign, and insists that his return to the Sky Sports panel is him choosing ‘business interests’ over coaching.
Neville was sacked by Valencia last season – after only 16 league games in charge – and saw his role as an assistant to Roy Hodgson end when the England manager stood down following a disappointing Euro 2016 campaign.
Neville, 41, is now returning to his role as a television pundit, and told The Times that is where he sees his future for now.
“People will suggest I’ve chosen punditry over coaching,” the former Manchester United full-back said. “That’s not the case. I think what I’ve probably chosen to do is attend to my business interests over coaching. It’s me applying myself to my businesses for the next four or five years and doing some television.”
In addition to his work as a pundit, Neville owns a company with former team-mate Ryan Giggs which operates hotels and restaurants, and is a co-owner of National League North club Salford City along with Giggs, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and his brother Phil Neville.
“My businesses will always be a focal point of what I’m doing,” Neville said. “I almost jumped into a job at Valencia, but I’m absolutely 100 per cent committed to my businesses and projects.
“I get up at five or six every morning to go into the office in Manchester, spending every single moment on them. I love it. I love part-owning the club. I love being in control of my own destiny rather than being controlled by someone else.
“I know that, if I fail, it’s my failure, whereas with football coaching, it probably wasn’t me in terms of never feeling able to commit fully to it in the past four years – apart from when I was at Valencia.”
Neville added that he still cannot explain England’s elimination from Euro 2016 at the hands of unfancied Iceland, who won 2-1 in the Round of 16.
“I’ve watched it back and I still can’t explain it at all,” Neville said.
“It was unrecognisable from everything I’d seen from the players over the previous two years.
“Even against Russia and Slovakia, when things weren’t always going our way, there was no panic and they kept doing the right things, moving the ball quickly and passing it in the right way, whereas against Iceland it felt that after an hour that something had happened that no one could explain.”