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Gary Neville ‘looking to raid Man Utd’ to land next Salford City manager

Class of ’92 owned Salford City missed out on the League Two play-offs, with manager Gary Bowyer subsequently paying the price and Neil Wood has now emerged as his replacement

SALFORD, ENGLAND - AUGUST 16: Gary Neville joint owner of Salford City watches the game during the Vanarama Conference North match between Salford City and FC United of Manchester on August 16, 2016 in Salford, England. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)

Gary Neville is hoping to appoint Manchester United Under-23 coach Neil Wood as Salford City’s next manager, according to reports.

The League Two club are now in the process of hiring their fourth manager in two years, after Gary Bowyer was sacked for missing out on the play-offs. Following a meeting between club officials on Monday, it was decided Bowyer would be relieved of his duties following their 10th placed finish.

The Ammies are famously owned by ‘Class of 92’ United legends; Gary Neville, David Beckham, Nicky Butt, Ryan Giggs, Phil Neville and Paul Scholes. But after reaching the Football League in 2019, their progression up the football pyramid has hit a serious snag.

Since then, Graham Alexander, Richie Wellens and now Bowyer have all been hired and fired, with Jamie Carragher describing his Sky Sport colleague’s staff turnover as ‘Boris Johnson-like’.

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Salford had hoped to lure Neil Appleton to The Peninsula Stadium, but failed in their approach, with the Sun reporting Wood is now the favourite to take on the job. The 39-year-old has impressed during his time with the United youngsters and could now be in line for a promotion to senior football.

Wood also comes with the appeal that he has close links with a number of future Old Trafford stars, who could be tempted for a reunion in the lower leagues. Gary Neville is believed to be the most hands-on of the owners and will hope to get his next appointment right.

Speaking last year, he admitted that the decision to sack Alexander, who guided Salford to League Two, was the wrong one. At the time, Neville cited a disappointment in performances and a need to change the playing style, but now accepts it was a mistake.

Man Utd Under-23 coach is reportedly the favourite to be named Salford City’s new boss

“When you’re an owner and you’ve got a football background, your passion is the dressing room, the field and the grass and you can’t do anything about it, you’re making decisions from a distance,” Neville told Sky Sports.

“We don’t go and watch training. From our point of view, last season I have to take the blame for it. Every season that we haven’t gone up, I’ve made bad decisions or we haven’t done certain things well.

“Last season, Graham Alexander should never have left this club. He should never have left, I should never have made that decision that I made.

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“It goes against everything that I believe in and that’s what owning a football club does to you, it takes you to that place where you do things that you don’t believe you ever would do.”

Gary Bowyer became the latest Ammies boss to be sacked, when he was dismissed earlier this week

Neville has also been left to defend the club’s finances, after it was revealed their parent company were losing an average of £91,000-per-week. He said: “We’ve invested enormous amounts of money in the last seven or eight years. But it’s all myself, David, Ryan, Paul, Nicky, Phil and Peter (Lim, Singaporean business magnate).

“Peter owns 50 per cent, we own 50 per cent. We’ve put lots of money in ourselves. We’ve chosen to do that. I’m not against owner funding. We put it in at the start of the season. The club is obviously robust in that sense.

“We do one day long for sustainability at the club. But we’re trying to build a fanbase in a city that’s not had a Football League club ever. It’s new to us.”

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