Former Valencia manager Gary Neville has ruled out a return to coaching ‘for at least five years’ as he commits to his business ventures.
Neville, who was sacked by after four months following a disastrous run of results in his first managerial position, has returned to Sky Sports to work as a pundit alongside Jamie Carragher.
Following disappointments with both Valencia and the England national team, the former Manchester United right-back has decided to turn his back on the coaching world in order to focus on Salford City – the non-league football club he owns alongside his former United team-mates.
‘In the next five years I will be concentrating completely on business, on Salford City, on some education projects and the hospitality projects,’ he told the Daily Mail.
‘I’ve committed now. I put two or three things on hold while I was in Valencia and in the summer. 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.
‘People will say I’ve chosen punditry over coaching. No. I’ve chosen business over coaching. The reality is I would have loved to have been at Valencia for 18 months and it didn’t work out,’ Neville added.
‘So the question was: “Do I commit to coaching and put someone in charge of the businesses?” The defeats, what happened in Valencia, what happened with England, has an influence on the decision-making. The businesses would have still carried on and I would still have had an influence, but not to this extent if I had carried on coaching.
‘The best coaches commit 100 per cent and don’t have any distractions. And I’ve got too many distractions to be a coach. That’s the reality. I turned down four or five jobs in the three years preceding Valencia.’
‘I went over to Valencia for the owner and because I have a relationship with him and I would not change that experience for the world. I had a wonderful experience, which didn’t go as well in results,’ Neville continued.
‘What other people might say is a failure, I don’t see like that. I don’t. I see my life as being a road with some obstacles on it and sometimes you hit them.
‘The reality is — 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. And beyond that you say: “Well I’ve not committed for five years. How could I just go straight back in?”
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,’ the former United man said.
‘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.’