Phil Neville is to step down as head coach of England Women with immediate effect.
Neville, who was appointed in January 2018, had originally announced last April that he would move on this summer in order to pursue new opportunities, given that the pandemic-affected international calendar meant the home 2021 UEFA Women’s EURO would be delayed by a year to July 2022.
His decision to leave now means The FA will shortly confirm the name of an interim head coach to lead the Lionesses in February with Sarina Wiegman assuming the full-time role following the Olympic Games in August. A recruitment process had already been under way with assistant coach Rehanne Skinner’s departure to join Tottenham Hotspur last November.
Wiegman, named the FIFA women’s coach of the year in December for her work with the Netherlands, was appointed last August to lead England at the EURO and through the qualification programme for the 2023 FIFA World Cup.
FA Director of Women’s Football, Baroness Sue Campbell said: “I want to pay tribute to Phil for his significant contribution during his three years with The FA. In particular, the commitment, dedication and respect he has shown the position has been clear to see, and I will personally miss our many conversations about ways we can improve and progress.
“After steadying the ship at a challenging period, he helped us to win the SheBelieves Cup for the first time, reach the World Cup semi-finals and qualify for the Olympics. Given his status as a former Manchester United and England player, he did much to raise the profile of our team. He has used his platform to champion the women’s game, worked tirelessly to support our effort to promote
more female coaches and used his expertise to develop many of our younger players.
“Given the positive ongoing dialogue we have been having with Phil, we will be in a position to provide an update soon on an interim appointment, as well as provide a further update on the coaching situation regarding Team GB.”
FA Chief Executive Mark Bullingham said: “Phil can be proud of what he has achieved as England head coach and I am sure he will continue to progress in future. I wish him well and thank him for the hard work he put into helping our players and support team be the best they can be.
“Although he is moving on, I know Phil will remain a champion for women’s football and a supporter of all we are trying to do to grow the game even further.
His enthusiasm and energy will be missed, and he will always be welcome back at St. George’s Park and Wembley Stadium.”
Phil Neville said: “It has been an honour to manage England and I have enjoyed three of the best years of my career with The FA and the Lionesses.
“The players who wear the England shirt are some of the most talented and dedicated athletes I have ever had the privilege to work with. They have challenged me and improved me as a coach, and I am very grateful to them for the fantastic memories we have shared.
“I’d like to thank The FA for the tremendous backing they have given me, in particular Sue Campbell and my talented support staff whose energy, commitment and enthusiasm has been crucial to helping us make the progress we have. I wish England Women every success in the future and look forward to following their journey in the years to come.”