G-Nev still hopeful Beckham will play in his testimonial
Published 16:09 17/05/11 By MirrorFootball
Gary Neville has admitted a cynicism about testimonials has emerged over the past few years.
Neville confirmed today that he plans to build a 1500-capacity supporters' club close to Old Trafford with part of the money he receives from his testimonial against Juventus on Tuesday.
He is also planning a project in Malta, where he has had long-time links, and is trying to ensure that supporters buying tickets for next week's game know the money is not going straight into the pockets of a player who has been well-paid throughout his career.
"A cynical attitude has developed in the last 10 to 15 years about the amount of money that footballers earn," admitted Neville.
"But look across all sport; tennis, golf, Formula One. It is huge. It connects everybody all over the world.
"And football is a huge business. So much money being poured into the game and it is the people out there on the pitch who provide the spectacle.
"Ultimately, the players are going to be well paid. That is an inevitability. But the reality is that the lads at this club came into football because they love playing football.
"They didn't start kicking a football around in the hall at home when they were three because they thought of money.
"That is why football players should never forget their roots. If they continue that love of the game throughout, I don't think anyone would begrudge them money."
Neville has been in touch with old friend David Beckham about an appearance next week and is confident the former England skipper will help re-unite the 'Class of 92' even though his club, LA Galaxy, have a league game in Los Angeles nest Wednesday night.
Nicky Butt and Phil Neville are already confirmed, and Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes will also be involved despite the proximity of the Champions League final at Wembley on May 28.
"I am in contact with David," said Neville. "It is looking positive but we still have a couple of things to sort out.
"Hopefully it will be an enjoyable game for the fans and, four days before Wembley, it will be like a celebration and send-off for the lads who have done so well this season."
Although Neville is due to begin work as a Sky Sports pundit, the 36-year-old clearly has no intention of stepping back from his barely concealed love of all things United.
"I am a fan. I have always been a fan," he said.
"I wanted to do something for the fans and have said that publicly for the last 15 years.
"This is something I know will give me satisfaction and fulfil what I believe to be a thank you, so the fans can go and enjoy it."
* For tickets to Gary Neville's testimonial, visit manutd.com/tickets or call 0161 868 8000