- Premier League
Neville: Handling of Moyes affair repulsive
Gary Neville has branded Manchester United's handling of David Moyes' managerial situation as "repulsive" after the club failed to address rumours about his sacking before they confirmed his departure on Tuesday morning.
Club sources confirmed to ESPN on Monday that Moyes was on the verge of losing his job as United manager, after just 348 days in charge of the club that handed him a six-year contract last summer, but did not make any statement until a message via Twitter at 8.30AM on Tuesday.
"I have to say I find it repulsive the way these rumours break," Neville, who won 17 major trophies in his decorated career at Old Trafford, told Sky Sports. "I don't like it, I'll never get used to it, even though this is the world we live in. It needs to be clarified pretty quickly by the club and they need to break rank and do what they don't usually do, which is make a statement pretty quickly.
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"The weight and explosion of the information coming out concerns me. That club, for 20-odd years, contained and managed information. It was completely off the scale like nothing else that's happened at the club in 20 years."
Neville described some of United's displays under Moyes this season as "shocking and unacceptable," but the club's former right-back has stated his belief that the beleaguered Scot should be allowed to continue in the job.
"Personally, I would always think managers should be given a period of time, a couple of years, to be able to bed their own team in," added Neville.
"Having supported the club for 15 to 20 years, played for the club for 18 years, the managers have always been given time. Dave Sexton, Ron Atkinson, Alex Ferguson himself got time in his early years when it was difficult for him.
"People will say it is different times, but I genuinely believe that when you give a man a six-year contract that he deserves the opportunity and the time.
"We used to laugh at Italy 20 years ago [sacking managers regularly]. Now we have become accustomed to it. You hear people in the game come out and say a manager should be sacked, but you will never hear that from me because it is a difficult job and something I've never done.
"Football management is a world of madness, an absolute world of madness. The average manager gets sacked every 12 months and I've always felt that Manchester United should be different, hold itself up as a club that is standing against what happens in the game."
When news of Moyes' sacking was announced on Tuesday morning, Neville reiterated his views on Sky Sports News before insisting the United players' must take their share of the blame.
"The players have to take massive responsibility," said Neville. "They're the ones who go out on that football pitch. I never once in my 17 or 18-year career came off the pitch and thought, 'You lost us that game.'"
However Neville also feels Moyes' ultimately sealed his own fate by losing the dressing room.
"The fact is you don't sack 24 players. And those players are not as bad as they're showing. I've played with them, the ones I know are desperate to do well for the club. They're just lost confidence and belief," added Neville.
Meanwhile, United have been accused of a "lack of class and dignity" over the way they handled Moyes' sacking by their own fans.
News of the manager's imminent departure was leaked on Monday afternoon, though Moyes was only formally told of his fate at a meeting with United's chief executive Ed Woodward shortly after 8am on Tuesday at the club's Carrington training ground.
"It's a PR shambles," said Manchester United Supporters' Trust (MUST) vice-chairman, Sean Bones. "Manchester United's history shows they deal with things with class and dignity but that has not been the case here.
"The story leaked before David Moyes has been spoken to, and that's not the Manchester United way. There was no dignity or class in the way they went about it.
"I'm not saying he should have stayed in the job. The appointment of David Moyes was seen by a lot of supporters as a risk. Moyes wasn't proven at the very highest level, and Manchester United should be attracting the best and most proven managers in the world.
"But that decision was ultimately down to the Glazer family. They may have spoken to Sir Alex and other people within the club but if it was the wrong decision it was the Glazer family's decision."