Gary Neville has urged those looking to control social media activity at Manchester United to “get the f*ck away” from personal accounts and stop trying to turn Premier League performers into “robots”.
It is not the first time that the former Red Devils defender has spoken out on this matter, with the ex-England international disappointed that high-profile figures are not being allowed to put their own messages across.
For him, emotion is being removed from the connection that once bonded those on the field to those in the stands, with too many generic statements being pushed through by teams behind the scenes that dictate and monitor what gets posted in public.
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What has been said?
Reacting to a video in which United’s CEO of Media, Phil Lynch, says the Red Devils are “really about trying to understand what narrative they [the players] want to tell and then we’re here to support that narrative”, Neville has said: “Creating Robots on and off the pitch! Get the f@@k away from them.
“It’s a football club. He makes controlling fans sound like he’s trying to win a general election!”
The bigger picture
Neville’s latest online rant came shortly after United club captain posted a message to supporters on the back of a disappointing 2-0 derby defeat to arch-rivals Manchester City.
He said: “As a group of players we are going through a tough period.
“We know and accept this is nowhere near good enough.
“We feel your frustration and disappointment, we are doing everything we can to put things right and we will put things right. Thanks for your support.”
That is the kind of formulaic post that has incurred Neville’s wrath on a regular basis in 2021-22.
He has previously branded public apologies from players on social media accounts as “embarrassing”, claiming that PR teams working for modern day professionals are “creating personalities that don’t exist!”
Neville has also said: “Lads, run your own accounts! Your independent thought and authenticity is at stake. It’s your voice, not anyone else’s.”