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.”

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
peopleGerman paper published pictures of 18-month-old daughter
Arts and Entertainment
'A voice untroubled by time': Kate Bush
musicKate Bush set to re-enter album charts after first conerts in 35 years
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Williams' life story will be told in a biography written by a New York Times reporter
arts + ents
News
i100
Life and Style
food + drink
Life and Style
Voices
voices
Sport
Roger Federer is greeted by Michael Jordan following his victory over Marinko Matosevic
tennisRoger Federer gets Michael Jordan's applause following tweener shot in win over Marinko Matosevic
News
peopleJustin Bieber accuses paparazzi of acting 'recklessly' after car crash
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Oppressive atmosphere: the cast of 'Tyrant'
tvIntroducing Tyrant, one of the most hotly anticipated dramas of the year
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

Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?
Rachael Lander interview: From strung out to playing strings

From strung out to playing strings

Award-winning cellist Rachael Lander’s career was almost destroyed by the alcohol she drank to fight stage fright. Now she’s playing with Elbow and Ellie Goulding
The science of saturated fat: A big fat surprise about nutrition?

A big fat surprise about nutrition?

The science linking saturated fats to heart disease and other health issues has never been sound. Nina Teicholz looks at how governments started advising incorrectly on diets
Emmys 2014 review: Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars

Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars?

The recent Emmy Awards are certainly glamorous, but they can't beat their movie cousins
On the road to nowhere: A Routemaster trip to remember

On the road to nowhere

A Routemaster trip to remember
Hotel India: Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind

Hotel India

Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind
10 best pencil cases

Back to school: 10 best pencil cases

Whether it’s their first day at school, uni or a new project, treat the student in your life to some smart stationery
Arsenal vs Besiktas Champions League qualifier: Gunners know battle with Turks is a season-defining fixture

Arsenal know battle with Besiktas is a season-defining fixture

Arsene Wenger admits his below-strength side will have to improve on last week’s show to pass tough test
Pete Jenson: Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought

Pete Jenson: A Different League

Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought
This guitar riff has been voted greatest of all time

The Greatest Guitar Riff of all time

Whole Lotta Votes from Radio 2 listeners
Britain’s superstar ballerina

Britain’s superstar ballerina

Alicia Markova danced... every night of the week and twice on Saturdays
Berlin's Furrie invasion

Berlin's Furrie invasion

2000 fans attended Eurofeurence
‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

Driven to the edge by postpartum psychosis