Former Manchester United captain Roy Keane has shed new light on the reasons behind his Old Trafford exit in 2005.
Rumors have circulated for years that Keane’s departure from the club stemmed from a MUTV interview where the United midfielder infamously blasted teammates Rio Ferdinand, Edwin van der Sar, Ruud van Nistelrooy, John O’Shea, Darren Fletcher, Kieran Richardson and Alan Smith.
At the time, Sir Alex Ferguson and then chief executive David Gill stopped the interview from being broadcast after Ferguson previewed it.
The former United manager commented on Keane’s rant in his recent book: “It was unbelievable. He slaughtered everyone. Darren Fletcher got it. Alan Smith. Van der Sar. Roy was taking them all down.”
Ferguson followed that up with the observation: “The hardest part of Roy’s body is his tongue. He has the most savage tongue you can imagine.”
Rumor has it that every copy of the interview was destroyed by United officials.
Fast forward to today and Keane has revealed that reasons behind his departure from the club stemmed from a training ground dust-up with Sir Alex and his assistant Carlos Queiroz. The current Aston Villa assistant believes that this argument made his exit from Old Trafford inevitable.
In his autobiography, Roy Keane: The Second Half, the former United captain writes: “He [Carlos Queiroz] was just on my right shoulder; how I didn’t f—ing hit him again – I was thinking, ‘The villa in Portugal’ not treating me well in training – and he just used the word ‘loyalty’ to me.”
“I said, ‘Don’t you f—ing talk to me about loyalty, Carlos. You left this club after 12 months a few years ago for the Real Madrid job. Don’t you dare question my loyalty. I had opportunities to go to Juventus and Bayern Munich. And while we’re at it we spoke about training downstairs. And were just on about mixing things up in training a bit.”
Keane then states that Ferguson stepped in, saying: “That’s enough. I’ve had enough of all this.” Which prompted the United midfielder to turn his attention towards the manager, replying: “You as well, gaffer. We need f—ing more from you. We need a bit more, gaffer. We’re slipping behind other teams.”
The club then fined Keane £5,000 for the MUTV interview and he was subsequently dropped from a reserve game in which he was to continue his rehabilitation from a broken foot. The Republic of Ireland international knew then that the writing was on the wall.
Keane then details a conversation he had with Ferguson prior to his exit from the club: “I said to Ferguson, ‘Can I play for somebody else?’ And he said, ‘Yeah you can, cos we’re tearing up your contract.’ So I thought, All right – I’ll get fixed up. I knew there’d be clubs in for me when the news got out. I said, ‘Yeah- I think we have come to the end.’ I just thought, ‘F—ing prick’ – and I stood up and went ‘Yeah. I’m off.”
Keane then went on to say that he regrets trying to reconcile with his former manager and Queiroz a few days later.
“Now I kind of wish I hadn’t. Afterwards I was thinking, ‘I’m not sure why I f—ing apologized.’ I just wanted to do the right thing. I was apologizing for what happened – that it had happened. But I wasn’t apologizing for my behavior or stance. There’s a difference – I had nothing to apologize for.”
[Note: Roy Keane: The Second Half is available to buy from Thursday October 9th.]
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