“It was difficult I think for him to say ‘things aren’t done right’ when he wasn’t there all the time.”
Niall Quinn has said that Roy Keane received “special treatment” during his time as a player for the Republic of Ireland. Quinn and Keane were Ireland teammates for over a decade but were on opposite sides during the Saipan saga before the 2002 World Cup.
Keane and manager Mick McCarthy clashed and the Ireland captain left the camp ahead of the tournament.
Quinn was one of several senior players who supported McCarthy after the furious row between captain and manager.
Niall Quinn: Roy Keane got ‘special treatment’ in the Ireland squad.
Quinn has been speaking about his experience of the Ireland squad with Keane, and the ‘special’ treatment the former Manchester United captain received.
“We found it difficult that he would be so alarmingly aghast at what was going on out there,” Quinn said in a new Virgin Media documentary about his career.
“Given that for all our international matches for the last couple of years, he was only coming in sometimes on the Tuesday and we were all in on the Saturday.
“So, he had this specialist status, this privileged status in the team, for a couple of years. So, it was difficult I think for him to say ‘things aren’t done right’ when he wasn’t there all the time.
Quinn: McCarthy and Ferguson did a deal for Keane to get ‘special privilege.’
“But he got special privilege. Mick McCarthy and Sir Alex Ferguson did a deal – ‘Oh, you can have him later on near the matches, but he stays with us ’til Monday or Tuesday’.
“From a very early stage in that sort of Mick-Roy relationship, Roy was privileged, put in a specialised position,” Quinn continues.
“When he started giving out about stuff, I had to think ‘how can he give out, the rest of us turn up all the time?’
Quinn: Keane didn’t get Ireland players better conditions.
The former Manchester City centre-forward also disputed suggestions that Keane was responsible for the Ireland players gaining more favourable conditions from the FAI.
“Some funny things came out of it. I remember doing a thing on TV with Ruby Walsh and him saying ‘oh Roy Keane got youse on the first-class seats’,” Quinn said.
“No, he didn’t, it was done long before he came to the team, and I was involved in it.
"The moment I realised, 'wow, this fella really has got it…'"
How a referee reacted to a telling off from Roy Keane 😬
Niall Quinn – Bootroom to Boardroom is back on Wednesday at 10.15pm on Virgin Media Two. pic.twitter.com/40mVxZwzD0
— Virgin Media Sport (@VMSportIE) February 23, 2021
“I remember saying ‘come on guys, you have to give us the legroom for the long flights’. We had that conversation, but the myth has it that Roy got us it.”
Quinn and Keane worked together at Sunderland between 2006 and 2008. The Dubliner was Sunderland chairman and appointed Keane as manager.
The former Man United and Ireland captain led the Blacks Cats back into the Premier League in his first season.
You can watch Quinn speak about Keane below.
Roy Keane response to Mick McCarthy calling him a disgrace for being late on the team bus 😂
Niall Quinn – Bootroom to Boardroom airs on Wednesday night at 10.15pm on Virgin Media Two. pic.twitter.com/C5vo8LBeWf
— Virgin Media Sport (@VMSportIE) February 15, 2021
‘Niall Quinn – Bootroom to Boardroom’ airs on Virgin Media Two on Wednesday night at 10.15 pm.