Gary Neville slams "sorry state of affairs" after controversial comments from Leeds chief

Gary Neville has slammed comments from Leeds chief executive Angus Kinnear after he controversially likened calls in the fan-led football review for a greater redistribution of money to a famine in China which killed 20 million.

Kinnear claims that calls for the Premier League to fork out more than the £1.6billion they have already pledged over the next three years are similar to Maoist political thought.

He compared the proposal to Mao Zedong’s ‘Great Leap Forward’ when China’s attempts to collectivise their agriculture caused 20 million people to starve to death between 1959 and 1962.

Writing in his programme notes for Leeds’ match against Crystal Palace on Tuesday night, Kinnear said: “Enforcing upon football a philosophy akin to Maoist collective agriculturalism (which students of the ‘Great Leap Forward’ will know culminated in the greatest famine in history) will not make the English game fairer, it will kill the competition which is its very lifeblood.

© CameraSport via Getty Images Leeds United chief executive Angus Kinnear made his view clear on the Fan-Led Review of Football Governance

“Teams further down the pyramid do not need their means artificially inflated, they need to live within them.

“Would an increased redistribution of wealth have saved Bury? The answer is ‘probably not’.

“There is a false narrative that the English game is unsustainable when a glance at the league table of 50 years ago shows all, bar less than a handful of teams, the protagonists are still operating professionally today.

“Which other industry could boast such sustainability?

“Redistribution of wealth will simply favour the lowest common denominator, clubs who excel in recruitment, player development or commercial enterprise will be rewarded for incompetence.”

However, Neville described the statement as a “sorry state of affairs”, urging the Leeds board to look at their own situation a little over a year ago before their promotion back to the Premier League.

© Getty Images Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville got his Liverpool predictions horribly wrong

He tweeted: “Anyone remember when Leeds United were in the Championship sweating like crazy over their own financial state if they didn’t go up. How has it come to this within 12 months?

“A sorry state of affairs. Surely even Leeds fans don’t like these programme notes on the Fan Led Review.”

Neville’s comments also appeared to divide opinion, with many pointing out his part-ownership of League Two side Salford City who have seen an impressive rise since being backed by a number of former Manchester United stars.

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