@anne I have no opinion about Phil Neville, except that he used to be an international football player and used to play for Manchester United (?) as a midfielder or defender, that is about it.
I just read about about the controversy surrounding his appointment in the Guardian website before it cropped up here, and to me it is very clear that you have to be a severely unpleasant character if you think it is OK to jokingly claim in public to have battered your wife.
This is simply inexcusable behaviour, and should, if the FA had any integrity, exclude him from being considered for a post that involves holding power over a group of women.
What I do not get is people defending this a “black humour” or “irony”, it is not. To qualify as such the joke would IMO have to be made in a context where domestic violence was relevant, e.g. between social workers dealing with the consequences, and in front of the right audience (e.g. not including the victims).
To bring up the topic of abuse as a joke on twitter is gratuitous, but I am not surprised that famous people can be arses, too.