Roy Keane abruptly left Manchester United in 2005 following a mysterious set of circumstances in the aftermath of a 4-1 defeat to Middlesbrough.
It’s been revealed since that the Cork man gave a scathing interview on MUTV – the club’s own television channel – in which he heavily criticised his teammates. John O’Shea, Alan Smith, Kieran Richardson and Darren Fletcher were all on the receiving end of hammerings from Keane. However, Rio Ferdinand, then the club’s record signing, was the subject of the most brutal attack.
“Just because you are paid £120,000-a-week and play well for 20 minutes against Tottenham, you think you are a superstar.”
The interview was never aired and the midfielder left the club two weeks later. It’s been suggested that those actions were the cause of his sudden exit.
However, speaking to the Limerick Leader this week, the 46-year-old has refuted such claims and insists it was a subsequent appeal of a fine for his appearance on the show that saw him head for Celtic.
“The only reason I ended up leaving Man United was I appealed a €5,000 fine. If I hadn’t appealed the fine I wouldn’t have left Man United – don’t be brainwashed by the propaganda and lies. It is peanuts, you get fined that for being late for training at United. I appealed because I felt I shouldn’t have been fined for speaking about a match on the club station.”
Keane is now working as Martin O’Neill’s assistant manager with the Republic of Ireland national team. He quickly entered management following his retirement after just a handful of appearances in Glasgow.
“Have I stepped out of line? Damn right I have. Man United fined me about half a million pounds over my career but that is because I was sent off and I always held my hands up. Ironically when I appealed a €5,000 fine that’s when I left the club.”
Fans have been begging the club to release the video for over a decade now and Keane admitted he feels the same way.
“I wished they played this video, it is propaganda, ‘we had to destroy it’. How do you even destroy a video? I left with my head held up high, I was fine with my actions, I always felt my intentions were to do the best for Man United.”
Keane won seven league titles, four FA Cups and one Champions League during his twelve-year stint at Old Trafford. He captained the Reds for much of that period. The Mayfield native’s relationship with the club and, in particular, Sir Alex Ferguson have remained frosty ever since.
The pair have engaged in a war of words in recent years that culminated in the former Forest player claiming that “without a shadow of a doubt”, Brian Clough was a better manager than Ferguson.
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