Sky Sports apology caps good week for Nottingham Forest but Gary Neville silence is noted

Sky Sports have apologised to Nottingham Forest for comments made by pundit Gary Neville
-Credit: (Image: PA)

It has been a while coming, but Nottingham Forest have finally received an apology - if not quite directly from the man himself.

More than two months after Gary Neville’s incendiary “mafia gang” slur, Sky Sports have issued a statement addressing the matter. They say they apologise “for any offence caused” and have spoken to the former Manchester United man about his choice of language.

Forest were pretty quick out the blocks when it came to sending a legal letter to Sky after the remarks had been made. This response from the broadcaster was somewhat slower.

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Still, they got there in the end - even if the word “sorry” hasn’t come specifically from Neville, just from the broadcaster. It wasn’t exactly a mea culpa from the guilty party.

“Sky Sports have discussed with Gary the language used and its potential to cause offence,” the statement said. “Gary has agreed not to use the same or similar terms in future coverage. Sky Sports apologises to Nottingham Forest for any offence caused by this language.”

To recap, Forest had posted an angry tweet after their 2-0 defeat to Everton in April. They were fuming at three penalty appeals being waved away and questioned the integrity of VAR Stuart Attwell.

Responding to the X post by the club, Neville had said: "It’s like a mafia gang statement. I mean, honestly, what the hell are they playing at?”

Neville’s remarks did not go down well with Reds owner Evangelos Marinakis. He made his feelings perfectly clear in an interview earlier this year.

“Neville is subject to FA rules too, surely – he is a director of Salford FC. His comment about the club was outrageous, but the FA have done nothing,” Marinakis said. “I need to be careful - because our lawyers have already been in contact with Sky regarding Neville and this is not over yet. The comments and words he used were inappropriate, didn't correspond with reality and harmed people.”

The statement from Sky comes at the end of what has generally been regarded as a positive week for the Reds. The club survived last weekend’s dreaded Profitability and Sustainability Rules deadline without losing any of their prized assets on the cheap. They have made good money from selling Odysseas Vlachodimos, Moussa Niakhate and Orel Mangala, the rumours are that Callum Hudson-Odoi and Anthony Elanga are not going anywhere, and on Thursday came the news that the club look set to remain at the City Ground.

Now there's this turn up for the books to end a good few days. It is perhaps a somewhat unexpected development, but it seems unlikely Forest fans will be waiting for Neville with open arms should he be on punditry duty Trentside any time soon.

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