Tom Goodenough

Is Gary Neville following in the footsteps of Thatcher – or Trump?

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A video loop on the homepage of Gary Neville’s new website shows the ex-Man Utd captain turned businessman, broadcaster and now BBC Dragon’s Den star in various action poses. The clip changes at such speed it’s hard to keep up without becoming nauseous. And that’s the problem with Gary the dynamic middle-aged wannabe politician-tycoon: he makes everyone feel a bit sick. Neville is in the football stand cheering on his team, decked out in an expensive suit fielding questions from an adoring audience and zooming around Manchester in his car. He’s like a luxury watch model but the looks aren’t quite there. 

‘Relentless’ is Neville’s slogan and the name of his lucrative investment business. It’s his philosophy, his mantra, and it’s plastered all over his promotional material, along with other student poster platitudes.  

‘Attack the Day’

‘Success? Yes. Failure? Yes. Stop? No’.

‘Failure is a bruise, not a tattoo’

‘No excuses, no shortcuts, no regrets’. 

It’s a litany of self-congratulation: ‘I was raised by my parents and taught by my coaches to do everything I could, to get to where I wanted to be’.

There’s no point being churlish. Neville has won Premier League trophies, made a fortune as a businessman and is now turning his hand to starring in Dragon’s Den. But what do Neville’s slogans do other than puff up his sense of his own greatness? 

Neville is clearly on a mission, but what is it? ‘Businessman. Broadcaster. Speaker. Charity’ his website proclaims, bordering on the Alan Partridge. Might there, in time, be another word added to that list: politician? 

Neville has always poured cold water on that idea: he has ‘no intention of going into politics’, we’ve been told.

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