The vocal public response to the appointment of Phil Neville as the new manager of the England Women’s Team is indicative of just how invested the nation now is in the success of the Lionesses.

The profile of the national team, and rapid growth of the women’s game in recent years, is largely down to the significant increased investment and focus on the women’s game by the FA which is to be welcomed.

That said, the Women’s Sport Trust is disappointed at the apparent lack of transparency and process in the appointment of Phil Neville as the new Manager for the England Women’s Football Team.

Our National Women’s Team deserve the very best coach available to fulfil their enormous potential and inspire millions of men and women.

To see a high profile, former professional footballer virtually parachuted in to such a significant role in football without the level of experience required, undermines the coaching pathway and will be a blow to hundreds of football coaches, both male and female, currently working towards their badges at all levels.

Despite the huge growth in the women’s game in recent years, this appointment has also highlighted that we still don’t have enough female coaches at the highest level.

We are also saddened by Phil Neville’s historical tweets and the lack of comment about this from the FA. In the age of MeToo and TimesUp, all individuals and organisations must be more aware of past sexist behaviour and respond to it appropriately.

The strangest silver lining to this matter is that the population now seem to care about who is appointed manager of our women’s national team – something that reflect rising profile and value of women’s sport.

Women’s Sport Trust


  • 24/01/2018 at 11:23 am

    I whole heartedly agree with this. Regardless of Phil Neville’s playing career, as just by being in a top team doesn’t make you a great manager, which in this case is very relevant. He has, unfortunately failed quite miserably in football management. He has been appointed because of his media work, and not on his credentials as a coach or manager. The FA hasn’t moved on since the days of Brian Clough being overlooked by old men, who looking at the board haven’t been involved in playing football at any level (except for Dan Ashworth and he has airbrushed his failures into glowing credentials) so there involvement is either egotistical,financial or political. It smacks of sexism, and considering the past debacle over the way it mishandled and allowed for the character assassination by media over a player who was merely pointing out that the Senior England Womens Manager was wholly inappropriate for the position and yet not a solitary person (except the manager) at boardroom level was asked to step aside or resign. Its a organisation with a 21st century budget operating like a 18th century fiefdom.

  • 24/01/2018 at 11:59 am

    Whilst I do agree with some of the comments above i must add that Phil Neville is not to blame for being appointed in this manner, he has just applied for a job that he wanted to do. As Jason has stated above the poor recruitment process, appointing Neville as manager when he has only ever been an assistant before and has no experience as a manager and the fact that we have very few female managers in this country, is the fault of the FA and they are still living in the dark ages with no really football experience on their board. Having said all of the above I have been on the board of a non-league team (Rossendale United) when Neville was playing for Manchester United and had just started if bridges, he would come down to Rossendale and assist with training. In terms of coaching he is very good and does know his stuff, but can he transfer that coaching skill into management we will have to wait and see.

  • 24/01/2018 at 3:16 pm

    Why is the FA running women’s football? The way Phil Neville was hired just shows the inherent sexism still existing in the current FA set up. Were there no female coaches better than an inexperienced Neville? I think it’s about time we had an independent Women’s Football Association. The WTA has managed to run its own affairs in tennis with success; so I believe women’s football should be run by women and men with women’s interests at heart. What would happen if a qualified woman applied for the England men manager’s job? Would she get it? I rest my case your honour!

  • 24/01/2018 at 4:11 pm

    You lot are very unfair- the guy has his UEFA A license… So he’s said stuff in the past- big deal- stop being so damn prissy about things!! People claim offence at the slightest things now adays… Come on!!! Get over it!!

    To call this a sexist appointment is nonsense! None of you were involved in the appointment!! NONE of you know any of the other candidates and their levels… give the guy a chance!! The last guy was hounded out by talk of racism… It seems like this one will be hounded out by sexism before he even starts!!!

    STOP hounding out those that know what they’re doing and give people a chance!!

  • 25/01/2018 at 1:52 am

    He didn’t apply and had no intention of doing so until prompted

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