Former Manchester City chairman David Bernstein still refuses to watch Roy Keane on television 20 years after the Irishman’s infamous tackle on Alf-Inge Haaland.
David Bernstein has no intention of forgiving Roy Keane for the tackle which some claim cost Alf-Inge Haaland his career.
The incident in question is almost 20 years old now. In April 2001, Keane was sent off for one of the most infamous challenges in Premier League history as he brutally tackled Haaland and put an exclamation point on the gruesome act by roaring down at the stricken Manchester City man.
“I’ve never forgotten it,” Bernstein told The Athletic. “From a personal point of view, that was the worst individual thing I’ve been directly involved in, and the worst I’ve ever seen on the pitch. As a human being, it was an awful thing to see.”
Keane and Haaland had previous, with the latter accusing Keane of diving four years earlier when the Irishman had actually suffered a serious cruciate ligament injury.
Keane’s autobiography suggested that the 2001 tackle on Haaland was premeditated:
“I’d waited almost 180 minutes for Alfie, three years if you look at it another way. Now he had the ball on the far touchline. Alfie was taking the piss. I’d waited long enough. I fucking hit him hard. The ball was there (I think). Take that, you cunt. And don’t stand over me again sneering about fake injuries.”
Eamon Dunphy, ghostwriter of the autobiography, has admitted that he availed of some artistic licence with his interpretation of Keane’s comments on the tackle but the former United captain ultimately signed off on it to appear in his book.
There has been much debate on whether or not Keane’s challenge cut Haaland’s career short as the Norwegian’s own website previously claimed that it was an injury to his other knee that had been bothering him prior to the tackle.
Whether or not Keane cost Haaland his career is not the point for the former City chairman, who is more disturbed by how the whole incident played out and how the Corkman is now perceived.
“Roy Keane stood over him and basically said, ‘Take that, you bastard’. It was done in cold blood,” Bernstein said.
“It was a cold-blooded incident. I have never forgiven Keane for that. I think, frankly, it’s dreadful he’s accepted in football the way he is. After doing something like that, I think it’s absolutely appalling.
“Whenever Keane turns up on television, I switch off. I just won’t watch it. I’m appalled that he’s still involved with football. It’s just not right.
“Things happen, injuries do happen, but to do it deliberately and admit it the way he did, to sell his book, I think is completely beyond the pale.”