Sir Alex Ferguson autobiography: Angry Roy Keane hits back with ‘In my opinion he doesn’t know the meaning of loyalty’

Former United captain hits back at Ferguson after intense criticism revealed in biography

The most withering criticism in Sir Alex Ferguson’s book is reserved for the man who once embodied his will: Roy Keane. And, as Ferguson anticipated, Keane did not take it well.

“I remember having conversations with the manager when I was at the club about loyalty,” said Keane last night. “In my opinion he doesn’t know the meaning of the word. It doesn’t bother me too much what he has to say about me, but to constantly criticise players who bought him a lot of success I find very strange, but I won’t be losing any sleep over it.”

Keane, speaking before duty as an ITV pundit, added: “I don’t think the manager needs to do that. I am not sure how many books he has written now but he has to draw the line eventually and say these players have been top servants for Man United and have helped the manager win a lot of trophies. Imagine what he would have said if we never won a trophy.”

As captain of Ferguson’s Manchester United, and its angry heart, Keane ensured Ferguson’s writ was law on the pitch, but, inevitably, Keane’s body began to show the strain. According to Ferguson, Keane turned his anger at his growing limitations on the world around him: the world of United.

The problems began in a pre-season training camp in Portugal, set up by coach Carlos Queiroz, when Keane  criticised the accommodation and Queiroz. When Keane refused to apologise Ferguson told his captain he was “out of order”.

Then came Keane’s now infamous MUTV programme in which he lambasted his team-mates after a match at Middlesbrough. Ferguson said Keane hammered Kieran Richardson, Darren Fletcher and Rio Ferdinand of whom he said, “just because you are paid £120,000 pounds a week and play well for 20 minutes against Tottenham, you think you are a superstar”.

Ferguson was shown a copy of the tape. His response: “Jesus. It was unbelievable. He slaughtered everyone. Darren Fletcher got it. Alan Smith got it. [Edwin] Van der Sar. Roy was taking them all down.”

The same day Gary Neville, egged on by Keane Ferguson believed, criticised Queiroz’s training. Ferguson was incensed. At a showdown with Keane it was agreed the whole squad should watch the programme.

After it Keane argued with Van der Sar, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Queiroz, then Ferguson. Ferguson notes: “The hardest part of Roy’s body is his tongue. He has the most savage tongue you can imagine.” As players began walking out Keane looked so menacing even Ferguson found it frightening – “and I’m from Glasgow” – and  ordered that Keane be sold to the keep dressing-room unity which Ferguson has always felt is so important.

Ferguson said Keane later came to Manchester to apologise, only to then begin criticising United in the media. Ferguson observes acidly that Keane picked on junior players as Wayne Rooney as the senior players would not have stood for it.

He also notes that as a manager Keane lacks patience to build a club and needs money to succeed, that the dressing room was a better place after Keane left, and that United decided not to take legal action against later comments from Keane because Ferguson believed the player “was looking for a day in court to impress the fans”.

Discussing Keane yesterday Ferguson said: “We could not release that video. The meeting [afterwards] was horrendous. I just could not lose my control on this particular situation. If I had, the players would have viewed me differently. Roy absolutely overstepped his mark and there was nothing else we could do. We paid up his contract and gave him a testimonial the following season. We did everything we could to honour the fact that he was a great player for us.”

News
people
News
people And here is why...
News
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Burr remains the baker to beat on the Great British Bake Off
tvRichard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
The village was originally named Llansanffraid-ym-Mechain after the Celtic female Saint Brigit, but the name was changed 150 years ago to Llansantffraid – a decision which suggests the incorrect gender of the saint
newsWelsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
News
i100
Sport
footballArsenal 4 Galatasaray 1: Wenger celebrates 18th anniversary in style
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
tv
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Kristen Scott Thomas in Electra at the Old Vic
theatreReview: Kristin Scott Thomas is magnificent in a five-star performance of ‘Electra’
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

Let there be light

Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

A look to the future

It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
The 10 best bedspreads

The 10 best bedspreads

Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain