Phil Neville to encourage Manchester United to form women's team

The new England Lionesses boss "will be encouraging" his former team to finally add a women's side to the club.

Phil Neville to encourage Manchester United to form women's team
Phil Neville met the media for the first time as England boss on Monday. (Photo credit: Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

In his first press conference as new England Lionesses manager, former Manchester United, Everton, and England defender Phil Neville called on United to join the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea, and Manchester City by fielding a women's team. 

Neville "will be encouraging" United

In between fielding questions over the process that led to his appointment, and his own prior tweets, Neville spoke about United's lack of professional women's football.

Neville said that he "will be encouraging them" to form a women's team. He went on to praise United's "fantastic community programme for female players and coaches," and backed the future quality a United side would boast, saying;"When they do set out their women's team it will be one to challenge City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool. A club of the size of United should be the leaders, the pioneers. I am sure they are working to do that."

Questions asked about United's lack of involvement

Manchester United are now the only team in the English Premier League without a women's team. Arsenal, Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool, and Manchester City all field teams in the FA Women's Super League. Since 2010, Everton, Arsenal, Chelsea, and City have all won the FA Women's Cup while fielding stars of international football, including the likes of Kelly Smith, Steph Houghton, Jill Scott, and Carli Lloyd.

To date, Arsenal are the only English club to win the UEFA Women's Champions League. Last season, Manchester City, buoyed by substantial squad investment, made a run to the semifinals of the Champions League before bowing out against eventual winners Lyon

As of now, United have no plans to form a women's team. The last time the club were asked about the possibility, in August, they were said to be "monitoring the situation."