Former Manchester United players Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt, Paul Scholes, Gary and Phil Neville — collectively, five sixths of the Class of '92 — have combined forces and wallets to buy Salford City FC, a non-league club currently playing in the Evo-Stik First Division. A statement from the club today announced:
When the opportunity arose to acquire Salford City FC it was one they all wished to pursue. They want to put back into the community of Salford and surrounding areas, they want to develop and engage especially at grass roots level.
Here are some rather endearing quotes from the players. Gary Neville, being eloquent and earnest:
I had my first trial for Manchester United in Salford at age 11 and I will never forget how important that was to me. Salford City FC to me represents those early years, the commitment, hunger, enthusiasm, desire and spirit of football and I am very excited about this venture.
And Paul Scholes, not saying very much:
We know it will be tough but we will be committed to this from the start and have some very exciting plans going forward.
The takeover will be effective from summer 2014, so it's just as well most of them have other jobs to be getting on with for the moment. Nicky Butt coaches United's reserves, Gary Neville is a self-facilitating media node, and Paul Scholes has been dabbling in both. Phil Neville currently makes his living sitting on the United bench with a furrowed brow, while Ryan Giggs can usually be found two seats down, staring into the middle distance and looking serious.
Gary Neville also found time to comment on the rumours that he and his Classmates will be involved in a £2bn "Arab oil" funded takeover of Manchester United. "Utter nonsense," his people told the Manchester Evening News. As for David Beckham, the sixth Classmate, well, he appears to have decided to pursue his ownership dreams in Miami rather than Salford. There's no accounting for taste.