Group of Timbers fans outraged over hire of new coach
PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) – After Timbers former Head Coach, Gio Savarese was fired in August, the team officially announced Phil Neville to fill the position.
A former manager for Inter Miami and a19-year player for Manchester United and Everton FC. But Neville is facing backlash after a series of what many would consider sexist and inappropriate tweets from 2011 emerged in 2019.
“By no means a reflection of me, as a person as me as my character, and without a shadow of a doubt, the way that that what I was brought up by my mother and father, in terms of values that they instilled in me the Twitter that put out were wrong in 2011 and they’re wrong today,” Neville said.
At the time when the tweets resurfaced, Neville was Head Coach of the England Women’s National Team.
“The most incredible experience I’ve had in futbol really, in terms of learning about the obstacles. The challenges that females have in their lives not just in sports. I was probably a little bit ignorant towards that,” Neville said. “That experience changed my life, and it changed my life in terms of not just my coaching experience, but in terms of a development more as a person, my character, my understanding.”
Last week, Timbers Army took to social media saying in part, “We urge the @TimbersFC to reconsider this hire and reevaluate other candidates before finalizing a contract.”
“The statement that they put out show that this club cares about their people,” Neville said.
General Manager Ned Grabavoy said there were 16-20 candidates for the job.
“At that time, the decision was do I rush to judge someone their entirety based on that tweet or do we continue to try to go down a process get to know that person a lot better through conversations,” Grabavoy said. “It’s just not indicative of his character and I’ll standby Phil’s character.” Serna says he believes Neville has a lot of work to do to win fans over and says it’s all about communication.
“I want to meet them I want them to meet me. I want them to understand me, I want them to get to know me as a person, as a character,” Neville said.
“If he does something like that and goes out of his way to talk to the TA and share his concerns and how he’s learned and move forward I think that could be a big step going forward,” Serna said. “You can’t really solve any problems with all doors closed. So, I would definitely like to see him go out of his way, and maybe even the front office out of their way to rebuild that relationship that is built this community and the fan base in the past. We look forward to a 2024 season without any controversy.”
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