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Gary Neville Slams Man Utd Media CEO Over 'Devastating' Podcast Appearance

Gary Neville Slams Man Utd Media CEO Over 'Devastating' Podcast Appearance
By Jonathan Byrne Updated
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The Manchester United players have received plenty of criticism over the past few weeks for their performances on the pitch.

A disappointing run in the Premier League and Champions League has left many fans taking to social media to air their frustrations.

Over the weekend, we took a look at how the players were reacting to the criticism on their own social media accounts.

What ensued was a plethora of safely-engineered messages to fans, most of which were clearly not written by the players themselves.

Man United Media Control

With the topic up for debate if players should have more control over their accounts - a video has surfaced recently of an interview Manchester United media executive.

CEO of Media at Man United Phil Lynch spoke to the Sports Pro Influencers podcast about his team's role in engineering what goes out on Man United's players social media accounts.

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"Each one of these players are individuals, some want charity focus, some want family focus, some want just football focus," Lynch said.

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"I think it's really trying to understand what narrative they want to tell and then we're here to try to help to support that narrative."

Lynch spoke about fan reaction and how they carefully study how people react on social media to players actions, on and off the pitch.

"We pull twice a day social media fan sentiment graphs for every single one of our players. We have certain thresholds that alert us when we see fan sentiment going one way or the other."

"Whether that be a personal issue, whether that be an on pitch performance issue. When that happens, we then start to work with the player and his team individual to try and start to counter that narrative a little bit."

Reaction From Fans

Many people are aware that most players don't control their own accounts. but it's damning to communicate this level of  message-management goes on. Comments like this also undermine the important campaigning work that footballers do.

Many have come out in retaliation to the interview by Lynch, with former Man United player and Sky Sports analyst Gary Neville the most vocal.

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Neville has accused Lynch and co of "attempting to control their own fans" by way of "social engineering" with many in support of his sentiments.

However, as Neville hasn't been seen to be vocal about moving on from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, some fans believe he's showing hypocrisy towards the whole thing.

Journalist Miguel Delaney gives a good assessment of things in replying te tweet. "It's like trying to influence opinion polls in a general election, but the beauty of football is there's no getting away from the pitch or the result."

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Whether people agree with Gary Neville or not, many have not taking a liking to the way Phil Lynch portrayed himself in the interview, and how manufactured their actions come across.

See Also: Social Media Teams Are Making A Mess Of Man United Player Posts

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