Manchester United legend Gary Neville admits he was made aware of the economic threat to business before handing over his two hotels to the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic.

Neville and former United team-mates Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt and Paul Scholes, as well as brother Phil, opened the doors of their two Manchester hotels for NHS staff and key workers to stay in for free as they battle the COVID-19 outbreak.

Roughly 35 bedrooms have already been occupied after almost 450 members of regular staff at both hotels were sent home a week and a half ago.

Gary Neville lays bare brutal coronavirus advice he received before - Gary Neville lays bare brutal coronavirus advice he received before UK lockdown
Neville and his former United team-mates have handed over their two hotels to the NHS free of charge, including their Hotel Football building outside Old Trafford

Yet while business partner Peter Lim has made him well aware of the “economically horrific” consequences the pandemic will bring, Neville insists ensuring the safety of people and their families is of greater importance in these difficult times.

“Peter was passing information to us [from Singapore] saying that we had to be decisive to protect guests and staff and to make sure that economically we had planned,” he told the Daily Mail.

Gary Neville says Ryan Giggs mum was inspiration for Hotel - Gary Neville lays bare brutal coronavirus advice he received before UK lockdown
And the former England defender admits he was made well aware of the economical consequences beforehand

“They have had the social distancing for a month over there and were passing intelligence saying it was coming our way and when it comes it is a shocker.

“When I first looked at the numbers a week last Friday with the lads and Peter, it was economically horrific.

“However we know that over time companies and people will be judged by whether they did the right thing.

1585075961 958 Gary Neville lays bare brutal coronavirus advice he received before - Gary Neville lays bare brutal coronavirus advice he received before UK lockdown
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“There was not a thought at any point that we could not do this. We had to set the tone by releasing those rooms.

“Some businesses started laying staff off last Monday and others were waiting for the Government support package to be announced. We just couldn’t wait. There will be a bloodbath out there economically but our principle is that people don’t work for us, they work with us. Our responsibility is to people and their families. You take that on when you start a business. It’s big.

“One of the things we learned from our days at Old Trafford is that the team is more important than anything. We don’t believe we are above anyone else. We are all equal. Everybody deserves an opportunity. Nobody should be worse off because of their postcode. We understand our roots and where we came from.

“The reality is that some wealthy people out there are thinking selfishly. But some are not.”