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06th Nov 2015

Gary Neville is tormenting Salford City managers with early morning text messages

Back seat coaching


Managers often complain about know-all club owners but spare a thought for Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley.

Salford City’s joint managers will pick the team for tonight’s FA Cup first round clash with Notts County and they will hope the club’s famous stakeholders approve.

Telling the owner of a chicken conglomerate or a baseball magnate they know nothing about football is one thing, but what do you say when the men holding the purse strings are all Manchester United legends?

Johnson and Morley have Gary Neville (England coach), Phil Neville (Valencia coach), Ryan Giggs (United assistant manager), Nickey Butt (United academy director) and Paul Scholes (scourge of Louis Van Gaal) grilling them on team selections.

Ahead of their BBC debut at Moor Lane tonight, Gary Neville writes in the Daily Telegraph about the invidious position he and his fellow Class of ’92 Salford owners place Johnson and Morley.

“My personality dictates that I will always ask questions. But this experience has taught me the difficulties in being an owner. For example: you text the manager after a win and say well done.

“If they draw next week and you don’t text then paranoia can set in with the manager. Because of our background or history, anything we say to the manager or the chairman can become very powerful,” writes Neville.

“We put a scouting system in place where we send our own scout to verify a player. Obviously the manager picks the team but our scout is looking at incoming players. There are all those complexities.”

Salford beat Southport FC to qualify for the first round proper of the FA Cup.

In the Daily Mirror, the joint managers reveals how Neville regularly sends him texts at 5.30am.

“I wake up at 6am for work,” said Johnson. “But at 5.30am Gary’s already sending text messages, nearly every morning.”

Morley added: “I think Gary’s said there aren’t enough hours in the day for him, so he gets up that extra bit earlier to do what he’s got to do.”

Having seen Sky Sports pundit Neville tear strips off Premier League managers on Monday Night Football, we can only hope he goes a little easier on Johnson and Morley.