Phil Neville’s appointment as head coach of the England women’s football team has been overshadowed by allegations of sexism.
Shortly after the former Manchester United and England footballer was named as the Lionesses’ new boss, Twitter users began to share controversial tweets that the star wrote six years ago.
In 2012, he had posted: “Morning men couple of hours cricket be4 work sets me up nicely for the day.”
Asked why he only referred to men in his post, he replied: “When I said morning men I thought the women would of been busy preparing breakfast/getting kids ready/making the beds-sorry morning women!”
The 41-year-old deleted the posts and took down his Twitter account as criticism grew. A short time earlier, he had told his 1.6 million followers he was “extremely proud and honoured” to be joining the Lionesses.
He is replacing Mark Sampson, who was sacked following evidence of “inappropriate and unacceptable” behaviour in a previous role.
Neville, who earned 59 England caps and had a distinguished career with Everton after his time at Old Trafford, has been given a contract with the England women’s team until the end of the 2021 European Championship.
It is his first managerial post, having previously worked as a coach at Manchester United and Valencia and with the England men’s U21 setup.
He takes over an England team that is third in the world rankings, behind only the United States and Germany.
Neville is currently with the Lionesses at their warm-weather training camp in La Manga, Spain, where they played the Netherlands in a behind-closed-doors friendly on Tuesday.
Neville’s brother, fellow ex-Manchester United and England footballer Gary Neville, and their sister Tracey Neville, who is head coach of England’s netball team, both tweeted messages of congratulations following his appointment.