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Neville slams ‘naive’ United board

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Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville has criticized the Manchester United board for handing Jose Mourinho a new contract in January.

Jose Mourinho has signed an extension to his contract at Manchester United in January to stay at the Old Trafford club until at least 2020, with an option for a further year.

Following United’s poor start to the season and their latest 3-1 defeat at Liverpool on Sunday, Neville believes the board acted naively as they have now lost control of the situation.

“Will Mourinho leave? I think it will happen, my preference would always be to get to the end of the season,” Neville told Sky Sports.

“But the boardroom is so naive it’s unbelievable, to give him an extended contract knowing the cycle of Mourinho and his three years. The third year is always the difficult year for him.

“So 18 months in, with United second in the league having won two trophies in his first season, that was the point where the board had to hold their nerve and keep him hungry in that third season. The minute he came back from pre-season he was at it, and the club lost control.

“There isn’t that experience or knowledge of the club above him to be able to manage, control and handle him. His agent was out last week, he goes into press conferences and you don’t know what he’s going to say next and they don’t know what to do with him.

“They are paying the price now. The problem they will have now is that it will cost an absolute fortune to lose him and when you lose a manager midway through a season, there’s the situation of who is going to come in.

“What do they want for the next three or four years at the club? Because it’s not as easy as saying get rid of the manager. Manchester United need to reset. It’s not just the manager, it’s deeper than that.

“There is an incredible level of naivety and they lost control of the club when they gave him a new contract, they should never have done that.

“The minute he came out in that pre-season press conference the club should have gripped him and said, ‘we’re Manchester United, one more of those and…’ They’ve got to get a grip of their club.”