Since a consortium made up of former Manchester United team-mates Gary Neville, Phil Neville, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt, David Beckham and businessman Peter Lim took over at Salford City, the club have gone through six managers in just seven years.
In that time, Salford have earned four promotions and currently ply their trade in League Two, with the club’s ambitious owners targeting Championship football within 15 years of their initial takeover.
Anthony Johnson, who was Salford’s joint-manager alongside Bernard Morley between 2015 and 2018, told the Athletic that it is Gary Neville who “drives Salford forward”.
He said: “There are no grey areas. You are left in no uncertain terms on the way you’re working. He has high standards and high expectations.
“Gary drives Salford forward. That’s not to say the others aren’t involved but he is the most hands-on. Paul and Ryan are always at games.
Johnson added: “We were emotionally drained by the time we left. You do need to be strong to work for him.”
“He emailed one Saturday night after a game to say he wanted a meeting the next day. It just said ‘Can you please be at the hotel tomorrow at 7am’.
“You haven’t got to bed until 11pm and then you’re up at 5am the next day having a shower and getting ready without questioning it. You dance to his tune because it’s Gary. He asks nicely!
“Even the way he walks into a room — he bounces in aggressively on the front foot. He’s got so much energy. I learned a lot from him about life, not just football.
“He changed my mentality. He’s had more impact on me and how I go about things than any other person, apart from Bernard. Gary’s way ends up buried in your mindset.
“It’s from his background too. His parents saved Bury (the now-defunct Lancashire club) twice, his sister is one of the greatest netball players England has ever produced and his brother played for England and Manchester United as well.”