Gary Neville Sacked by Valencia After Just Four Months as Manager

Gary Neville
England assistant coach Gary Neville gestures at players during Tuesday's England v Netherlands international friendly match at Wembley Stadium, London. Neville has been dismissed as manager of Spanish side Valencia after less than four months in charge. Andrew Couldridge/Reuters

Former Manchester United and England footballer Gary Neville has been sacked as manager of Spanish side Valencia, the club announced on Wednesday.

The decision to "terminate (Valencia's) contractual relationship" with Neville was made "after carefully analyzing the sporting situation," the statement read, hinting at the team's poor form under the manager.

Neville arrived at Valencia less than four months ago, on the back of an immensely successful playing career and with a reputation as a popular pundit for British broadcaster Sky Sports.

His no-nonsense approach on the pitch and in the commentator's box, failed to inspire his managerial debut as Valencia slumped to 14th place in La Liga, Spain's elite football division, six points above the relegation zone.

After crashing out of three cup competitions under Neville and winning only three out of 16 league matches, Valencia decided to terminate his contract, which was meant to continue until the end of the season.

Pako Ayestarán, the former assistant coach to Rafael Benítez at Valencia and Liverpool, will take over as interim manager. Ayestarán arrived as Neville's assistant last month, prompting speculation that Valencia bosses were teeing him up as a replacement.

Neville denied this, insisting the appointment was his own idea.

Valencia have wished Gary Neville "all the best in the future" and thanked him for his work at the club. Neville will continue acting as assistant coach for the English national side—a role he intended to balance with his club duties.