Wed 1 May 2024, 09:06 · Ash Harrison

'I'd said no': Gary Neville now shares shocking truth about his connection to Newcastle

'I'd said no': Gary Neville now shares shocking truth about his connection to Newcastle
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Football is full of sliding doors moments, those little "what if's" and "nearly's" that could have dramatically changed the course of a club's fate.

What if Mike Ashley didn't pull the plug on Newcastle United's Luka Modric deal? What if Mike Ashley didn't bring in Dennis Wise to undermine Kevin Keegan? What if Mike Ashley.... okay, you get it.

Now, Gary Neville has admitted that there exists another "what if?" moment in our club's history that we weren't aware of.

Before joining Valencia in his one and only managerial role, Gary Neville says that Newcastle wanted the former Manchester United right-back as their manager, again, Mike Ashley would have been involved. Just saying.

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Gary Neville in his very brief management days

Gary Neville lasted just four months in the Valencia role

To say that Neville's spell at Valencia was unsuccessful would be putting it politely with the former England assistant manager lasting just four months in the role overseeing a run of nine straight defeats which included a 7-0 mauling from Barcelona.

In fairness, he sounds like a proper Mike Ashley appointment. Up there with the recently-departed Joe Kinnear. Rest In Peace, Joe.

Speaking on the Stick To Football Podcast, Neville has revealed that Newcastle were one of a few clubs interested in his services before he moved to Spain.


Newcastle dodged a bullet

Neville says it was a former Sky colleague who tipped him off that Newcastle wanted him.

“The more I think about it I took the Valencia job due to the fact I knew the owner.

“I felt like I was loyal to him and I felt like I owed him in terms of the business.

“But I had been asked to go to Middlesbrough, Newcastle had asked to speak to me, and a couple of other clubs – Derby I think had asked. All in that previous three years and I’d said no to every single one because it wasn’t where I wanted to be. I started my businesses and media career, I didn’t want to be a coach.

“I’d said no to Newcastle previously, and I’ve never said this publicly, it was actually someone from Sky who had a contact at Newcastle who said they want to speak to you. I’m not saying that it would have got me the job, but it could have got me the job.”

It sounds like we had a lucky escape given his performance at Valencia.

We love Neville as a pundit, but we can't imagine anything other than a total disaster being the outcome had he come to Tyneside.