In an interview with the Irish Times (via SS), we hear what Roy Keane has to say about his departure from Manchester United.
I’m not going to sugar-coat this or give you a preamble – have a read.
“The day I left United, in hindsight, I should have stopped playing really. I lost the love of the game that Friday morning. I thought football is cruel, life is cruel. It takes two to tango also. I am fully responsible for my own actions but some things are wrong.
I left on a Friday and they told me certain things before I left that day. I was told the following week I couldn’t sign for another club. I had been led to believe I could. There were certain things I was told at certain meetings that were basic lies.
That was part of the exit plans, I am convinced. Especially with my pride, I wasn’t going to accept that. They had a statement prepared and they were thanking me for 11 and a half years of service.
I had to remind the manager [Manchester United chief executive] David Gill I had been there 12 and a half years. I think that might have been part of the plan.
Then the financial stuff was mentioned. I was thinking, my God. I am happy to leave. I won’t go down that road. A week later they announced Â£70 or Â£80 million profit after telling me I hadn’t played for six weeks and so they weren’t prepared to do this and that. I told David Gill I had broken my foot playing for Manchester United against Liverpool. Pretty sad.
I look back and thing I should have said this and I should have said that. It is like Mick McCarthy at the World Cup. I always think when he said if you don’t have respect for me you can’t play for me, I should have said to him what I felt. I am not playing for you I am playing for Ireland. It is easy to be wise afterwards.”
The departure was painful for Keane but not so much so for the club – and after such a long association, it’s understandable that Keane is unhappy about how things went. It reminded me of Cantona – he ended his career before he was booted out. Keano’s only failing could have been that he banked on emotional attachment from the club when his value to the club was less than his cost to them.
He was dealt with by David Gill – i.e. the financial arm of Manchester United as opposed to by the manager. Keane has already criticised the board for their penny-pinching ways, but on the other hand it is what makes Manchester United so successful on a financial level. It makes sense that the board deal with such issues, and once you see contract wrangles in this light it’s easier to understand why certain things happen the way they do.
And as always, best of luck to Roy Keane for Sunderland’s game against Fulham today, and hope to see him in the Premier League next season.
Oh, and Keano? Will you buy Silvestre and Saha? Please? 🙂
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