Gary Neville has revealed he will turn his back on coaching – for at least the next five years.
The former Manchester United right-back took his first foray into management when he was handed the Valencia role last season, but that did not last long after a troubled four months – a struggle his Sky Sports punditry partner, Jamie Carragher, was more than happy to lap up.
He was also Roy Hodgson’s assistant manager with England, a position he relinquished in the wake of a dismal Euro 2016 campaign, and he is not looking to get back into that discipline any time soon.
Instead he will continue in his punditry role with Sky Sports while focusing on a number of business projects, not least his joint ownership of Vanarama National League North side Salford City.
“I’ve committed now. I put two or three things on hold while I was in Valencia and in the summer,” he told the Mail on Sunday.
“And obviously, after the summer I was, ‘Right, these projects go and we go with them now’. And they’re going. And I’m too integrated into them and at the forefront to go and do something else.”
On a potential return to coaching, he added: “You can never say never but I think it is unlikely you’ll see me step back into a coaching role, certainly in the next five years. So the reality is that I probably am consigning myself to no coaching position, unless in five years I wake up and say, ‘Actually, I’d like to do something locally’ and something happens.
‘But, honestly, at this moment I can’t see it at all. I’m far more passionate about those things I’m doing and Salford City than I am about coaching.”
Neville defends England reign
Despite England’s miserable failing in France during the summer, Neville insists they were going in the right direction under Hodgson – though he accepts their position was untenable after the shambolic Iceland defeat.
“Absolutely – and unless you don’t qualify, you’re only ever be judged on a tournament,” he added.
“And the sadness for me watching in the last couple of months and since the tournament is that it definitely was the right direction. But when you lose a game like Iceland, you lose the right to have a say any more.
“The reality, what people will work out in time, is that the direction of travel was correct, the identification of the right players was correct, the system and the style of players was correct but not always the end result.”