Sky Sports’ managing director, Barney Francis, has said the “door will always be open” to Gary Neville following his decision to leave his duties with the broadcaster in order to become the head coach at Valencia until the end of the season.
Neville has become a hugely successful and influential part of Sky’s punditry team ever since joining the organisation in 2011, most notably as a member of the Monday Night Football team.
“We wish Gary all the very best as he returns to football with our blessing and begins his managerial career with Valencia,” said Francis. “He will always be a friend of Sky Sports and we look forward to following the next chapter of his career closely, not least during our weekly La Liga coverage. And of course, the door will always be open should he wish to return.”
Commenting on his switch from the Sky studio to the Mestalla dugout, Neville said: “Sky has probably been one of the best decisions I have ever made, simply an incredible job that I have loved doing. The team that I have worked with on match days and MNF have been simply unbelievable, their knowledge of the game, their passion, their work ethos has made me love football more.
“No one understands football better than Sky Sports, so it has been no surprise that they have fully supported and understood the decision that I have made to go to Valencia for the next five months.”
Having been the sole analyst on Monday Night Football, Neville has been sharing duties with Jamie Carragher following his retirement from football in 2013. Reacting to Neville’s departure from Sky, the former Liverpool defender tweeted, and in reference to a former Anfield team-mate of his: “Gutted! This reminds me of when Pegguy Arphexad left for Coventry.”