Two of Richard Keogh’s Republic of Ireland teammates, Jeff Hendrick and Harry Arter, have questioned Derby County’s decision to sack the player.
On Tuesday evening, the club announced that they have terminated Keogh’s contract “with immediate effect for gross misconduct.”
The former Derby captain suffered a serious knee injury after he was involved in a car crash with teammates Tom Lawrence and Mason Bennett following a club sanctioned night out.
Keogh, who does not drive, was a passenger in Lawrence’s vehicle when it crashed into a lampost.
Bennett (23) and Lawrence (25) admitted to drink-driving changes and were both were fined six weeks’ wages by Derby. They have since returned to action for the Championship club.
Keogh was the only one to suffer a serious injury in the crash and will not play against until the end of 2020 at the earliest.
The 33-year-old won’t ever play again for Derby after his contract was terminated, a decision that Arter and Hendrick both questioned on Twitter.
Agree. Talk about kicking a man(the captain) while he is down instead of helping him trough this physically and mentally tough time https://t.co/R9V7CKmT9L
— Jeff Hendrick (@JeffHendrick92) October 30, 2019
Derby’s statement explaining their decision to terminate Keogh’s contract reads:
“Derby County Football Club has completed the disciplinary hearing regarding Richard Keogh in respect of his involvement in the events of Tuesday, September 24th.
“As a result of that process, Mr Keogh has had his contract terminated with immediate effect for gross misconduct. He has the right of appeal within 14 days.
“As we have said from the outset, the club will not tolerate any of its players or staff behaving in a manner which puts themselves, their colleagues, and members of the general public at risk of injury or worse, or which brings the club into disrepute.
“The club will be making no further comment at this time regards this matter, until the conclusion of any potential appeal,” the statement concluded.”
Keogh, who has earned 26 caps for Ireland, has 14 days to appeal against Derby’s decision to terminate his contract. His deal was due to expire at the end of the 2020/21 season and was worth a reported £24,000 a week. The Guardian have reported that Keogh was offered a new deal on significantly reduced wages but rejected the offer.