Neville admits ‘regrets’ on not speaking up on Glazers Man Utd ownership sooner
Gary Neville has admitted that he regrets not speaking up on the Glazers ownership of Manchester United whilst he was a player.
The American owners first invested in United in 2003 and they became the club’s majority stakeholders in 2005.
Neville has often been critical of their ownership as a pundit, but he was perhaps more reluctant to criticise them when he was a player himself.
“I don’t want to come up with excuses [for not speaking out as a player],” he told Sky Sports.
“It was probably because we were successful and we were managed by Sir Alex Ferguson, who stuck to football.
“No player or member of staff ever spoke out against the leveraged takeover. When it happened we got on with winning trophies, winning the Champions League and winning Premier Leagues. And the club, to be fair, carried on being successful.
“I worked on the theory at the time that we could have worse owners. They were quite passive. I never saw any interference while I was at the club as a player.
“But when Sir Alex Ferguson left, it’s then I started to realise they were only successful because of Sir Alex Ferguson. They haven’t been able to develop a successful sporting project without him.”
United have had six managers during the post-Ferguson era and haven’t come close to replicating their previous successes.
Neville added: “So the fact of the matter is, they’ve taken dividends out, they’ve not developed the stadium, they’ve let the training ground go to ruin. They really are second-class when it comes to the status of infrastructure at the club and the facilities.
“That can’t happen when you’re not successful on the pitch. So you put all that together and you get to a point whereby enough is enough.
“I started to speak out about two or three years ago. Many fans will say I should have done it earlier and I can’t disagree with them. I can have regrets about it all my life, but the reality is I have spoken out in the last two or three years quite a lot. I haven’t enjoyed what I’ve seen.
“The signs were obviously there 15 years ago and most fans were right. But let’s make sure we don’t jump out of the frying pan into the fire.
“I’ve expressed my concern about state ownership. I’ve expressed my concern about US investment. But whoever comes in, we need to know what the manifesto is. We need to understand what they’re going to do in that first five to seven years.”