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Gary Neville 'could open string of UK hotels'

04 | 10 | 12

Former Manchester United and England defender Gary Neville has swapped the football pitch for the commentators' box in recent years, but looks set to surprise the public with his next career move, having announced plans to launch a string of hotels across the UK.

Neville is currently developing a 140-bedroom site close to his former club's stadium, Old Trafford, following a tortuous period of negotiations over planning permission.

Speaking at the opening session of the Annual Hotel Conference, held today at Manchester's Hilton Deansgate hotel, the former footballer suggested that this could be the catalyst for a string of similar developments throughout Britain, reports Caterer and Hotelkeeper.

"We've got to deliver a profit with the first one, but I do hope we can go on and open more across the country," said Neville.

He suggested that his interest in hospitality management came when considering a career that could provide the same excitement from his playing days, after injuries and old age precipitated his retirement from the game.

Furthermore, the ex-United man claimed that working with Sir Alex Ferguson, one of the most successful managers of all time in English football, has helped him plan ahead for his career in the leisure and hotel industry.

"He is a master of communication who is always totally honest with his team," Neville explained, adding that he has an "aura of presence" that contributes to his ability as a manager and a motivator.

BBC News reported that Neville's proposed Old Trafford development involves an investment of around £20 million and will include a supporters club aimed at attracting fans of Manchester United visiting the area to watch a match.

Building work on the site is to begin at the start of 2013, with the completion date at some point in 2014 or 2015.

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