Phil Neville and the FA urged to address sexist tweets from new Lionesses boss
The Women’s Sport Trust charity questioned the appointment, on the basis Neville has never worked in the women’s game previously.
Phil Neville and the Football Association have been urged to address the sexist tweets that have come back to haunt the new manager of England Women.
Historical tweets posted in 2012 by the former England defender saw Neville face criticism on his first day in his new job at the Football Association.
“Morning men couple of hours cricket be4 work sets me up nicely for the day,” Neville wrote.
When asked why he only referred to men in his post, Neville replied: “When I said morning men I thought the women would of been busy preparing breakfast/getting kids ready/making the beds-sorry morning women!”
Neville deleted the post on Tuesday and appeared to remove his Twitter account, @fizzer18, which was unavailable to users.
The Women’s Sport Trust charity says Neville, and the FA, should waste no time in responding “appropriately” following his messages.
The WST questioned the appointment, on the basis Neville has never worked in the women’s game previously.
It added: “We are also saddened by Phil Neville’s historical tweets and the lack of comment about this from the FA. In the age of MeToo and TimesUp, all individuals and organisations must be more aware of past sexist behaviour and respond to it appropriately.”
The WST, whose patrons include former England striker Kelly Smith, questioned why the FA would turn to Neville in the first place.
He holds the UEFA Pro Licence, and has worked at Manchester United and Valencia, but Neville has catching up to do in terms of his awareness and understanding of women’s football.
The WST said: “The Women’s Sport Trust is disappointed at the apparent lack of transparency and process in the appointment of Phil Neville as the new manager for the England women’s football team.
“Our national women’s team deserve the very best coach available to fulfil their enormous potential and inspire millions of men and women.
“To see a high profile, former professional footballer virtually parachuted in to such a significant role in football without the level of experience required, undermines the coaching pathway and will be a blow to hundreds of football coaches, both male and female, currently working towards their badges at all levels.”
Chelsea Ladies boss Emma Hayes ruled herself out of England contention by signing a new long-term contract with the Women’s Super League side, while Mo Marley, who was in interim charge of the side, is reported by the FA to have withdrawn from consideration after initially applying for the post.
Neville replaces Mark Sampson, who was accused of racism by England striker Eni Aluko, although he was eventually sacked for what the FA described as “inappropriate and unacceptable behaviour” in a previous role with Bristol Academy.