Phil Neville has urged the Football Association to do more to help England women win a major tournament after the Lionesses were forced to fly to and around the United States in economy class.
That is something the men’s team are never expected to endure, instead being given the luxury of either business or first-class seats on their long-haul flights.
The Lionesses, though, spent nine hours in the air in cramped conditions just 72 hours before their first game at the SheBelieves Cup. This is just one of the things Neville wants to address with his employers after England lost their final game at the tournament 1-0 to the United States on Thursday, a defeat that suggests the gap between them and the elite sides remains.
“We need to give ourselves the best opportunity to do well,” said Neville, when asked what he thought of the fact he and his team had been put in economy class.
“I quite enjoyed the flight over here, I’d nine hours with the team and it was great bonding. It’s not my top priority [flying business class]. You always want better, but that’s not No 1 on my list.
“The USA gave themselves the best opportunity they could to win a home tournament, but there are things we could do differently.
“We were made to travel through three or four different cities just to get here and I had one training session with the team before the first game, after a nine-hour flight.
“There are things we can control as well. Why were Chelsea playing Manchester City on the day we met up as a squad? I had five players withdraw before we left England.
“We had a full fixture list too, but we are able to change that because we [the FA] are in charge of the league. I need seven days with the team before a tournament if we are going to win it.”