Football League World
·1 November 2022
Football League World
·1 November 2022
Salford City have announced that CEO Gary Neville will be stepping down from his part-time role at the club, to be replaced by Nicky Butt.
Neville will remain on the board as co-owner, but will no longer be involved in the day-to-day running of the club.
The 47-year-old arrived at Salford in 2014, when he purchased the club alongside fellow Manchester United ‘Class of 92’ teammates Butt, Phil Neville, Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs, with businessman Peter Lim also acquiring a stake in the club and David Beckham becoming an investor too.
It has been a hugely successful journey for the Ammies since Neville and his colleagues took over, going from the Northern Premier League First Division, the eighth tier of English football, when they arrived to reaching the Football League in 2019. They have also had some good seasons in League Two since their promotion from the National League, competing for the play-off places and currently sit 8th after a positive start to the season.
But Neville has a number of other commitments, he is becoming increasingly prominent in his punditry role, whilst also having business interests. He feels that he can no longer give the time and attention required to his role at the Peninsula Stadium.
“As the Club has developed with such pace it needs someone who can concentrate on the Club and be there every day, and Nicky is the ideal candidate to do this,” Neville said in a statement on the club’s official website.
“I have enjoyed my eight years and can’t believe how much we have achieved in that time, and how proud I am of the hard work everyone at the Club has put in to make a dream we had whilst on a train, turn into a reality.
“I will now be able to sit back and enjoy the game on match days safe in the knowledge that it is in good hands. I’d like to thank Peter Lim and the other lads for everything they’ve done, all the staff, on and off the pitch, that I have worked with for your commitment and dedication and the fans who have been with us from the beginning. A special mention to those who have grown with us on the journey particularly the spectacular efforts of Karen Baird and Chris Casper who have worked closely with me.”
Butt, who was most recently head of first-team development at Manchester United, will take the role on a full-time basis and is excited to get started.
“I am delighted and welcome this opportunity, this pressure, this responsibility. The Club, staff, team and fans are everything and what makes this Club special, and why we fell in love with the Club all those years ago,” Butt said in the statement.
“I accept the responsibility that brings, the responsibility of the long term vision whilst concentrating on the short term goals and what is needed now and will work hard to take the Club to where we believe it can be.”
1 of 18
Win Draw Loss
It is not too surprising that Neville has decided to take a step back from his role at Salford.
With his punditry roles increasing, including his upcoming stint in Qatar for the World Cup, plus his business interests, it is unlikely he would have been able to devote the time needed to the CEO role full-time as the club continues to progress.
Neville has done an excellent job at Salford, not just by securing numerous promotions and developing the infrastructure off the pitch, but also growing the profile of the club. Having someone like Neville involved has generated much media interest in the club and made it a more attractive proposition for investors and players.
It is unlikely that too much will change at the club. Butt was part of the Class of 92 takeover at Salford in 2014, so will probably be very much aligned with Neville in his views on how to take the club forward.
Neville used his contacts to employ former Manchester United youth coach Neil Wood as manager this summer, and with Butt’s links to Old Trafford and his standing in the game, it is likely he will also have a similarly strong contacts book. Plus, with Neville having a close relationship with Butt and also remaining on the board as co-owner, he will not be too far away should advice and support be needed.
If Butt’s appointment enables Salford to have a full-time CEO running the club, whilst not changing too much of a formula that has been successful, then it can only be seen as a positive.
View publisher imprint