The television sports market is a competitive business. For a long time Sky had a virtual monopoly and competitors were swiped aside with a flick of Rupert Murdoch's wallet. Then BT Sport came along and things weren't quite so comfortable anymore.
The sums became astronomical, Sky's Champions League coverage fell by the wayside and an awful lot is riding on their continued share of the Premier League market. It's the golden goose that it's all built upon so any threats to it are to be taken seriously.
Gary Neville may be a mere cog in the machine but he was a very valuable one. His style of punditry did an awful lot for Sky's image so it will come as no surprise to learn that they weren't prepared to allow him to head off to Valencia without a fight.
The Daily Mail are reporting that Neville was offered a huge pay increase to sign a new five year deal worth over £3 million a year before taking the reigns at the La Liga club until the end of the season. Neville was thought to be on about £1.2 million a year on his most recent contract and the fact that Sky were willing to offer more than a 100% increase on that just goes to show how valuable he became.
Having said that however, it's worth noting that Thierry Henry is thought to be on an eye-watering deal of £4 million a year having signed on with Sky at the end of 2014. Regardless of the figures at the heart of this, you'd have to think that the opportunity to take over at Valencia was simply too much for Neville to turn down.
He's taken over until the end of the year. If it works out, there'll be no shortage of jobs open to him. If not, it's unlikely his coaching reputation will have taken too much of a hit and Sky will waiting to welcome him back with open arms.