Ex-Manchester United player named Valencia head coach till end of 2015/2016 season

Valencia's new coach Gary Neville (R) attends a news conference next to the club's president Chan Lay Hoon during his presentation at the Mestalla stadium in Valencia, Spain, December 3, 2015. © Heino Kalis
La Liga side Valencia have announced that they have appointed former Man United defender and captain Gary Neville as the club’s head coach until the end of the season. Gary Neville will leave Sky Sports where has worked as a pundit since his retirement in 2011.

The Mestalla outfit, who are currently ninth in the Spanish top flight, have started the new campaign slowly and are struggling to qualify from Champions League Group H, which also contains Zenit St. Petersburg.

Former head coach Nuno announced his resignation from the club after a 1-0 defeat to Sevilla at the weekend, amid heightened frustrations from the Valencia fans.

The new boss will join his brother Phil Neville, who was appointed in July as assistant manager, with the English pair handed the responsibility of turning the club’s fortunes around.

Neville will officially take charge of the Spanish club on Sunday, with staff member Salvador Gonzalez “Voro” given the unenviable task of taking control for this Saturday’s clash with champions Barcelona.

It is the new man’s first role managing a club, but he has been honing his skills as part of the English national squad’s coaching staff.

Both of the Neville brothers have ended up at Mestalla due to their respective relationships with the club’s owner Peter Lim.

The Singaporean businessman has invested heavily in the Spanish club but is also a business partner of Gary Neville in their ownership of English side Salford City.

The growing discontent with the club by the Valencia fans this season has largely been down to Lim’s ownership and relationship with super-agent Jorge Mendes.

The Portuguese representative is a close ally of the Asian owner and had former coach and compatriot Nuno as his first client.

Mendes has helped bring players he represents into Valencia’s playing squad, with some of the new faces failing to win over the fans.

The Mestalla supporters have been quick to link Valencia’s problems on the pitch with the triumvirate of power held by Lim, Mendes and Nuno – especially after former key Valencia figures Amadeo Salvo and Rufete were forced out of the club last summer.

Neville’s arrival is seen to represent a fresh start, but his links to Lim will surely be scrutinized if fortunes on the pitch do not improve.

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