By David Anderson
FORMER Manchester United defender Jaap Stam has called Alex Ferguson a hypocrite for backing Roy Keane over his controversial autobiography.
The Dutchman believes his own book, in which he claimed United made an illegal approach for him while he was at PSV Eindhoven, hastened his departure from Old Trafford.
Keane’s book, which has led to charges of bringing the game into disrepute from the FA, was given the all-clear by Ferguson before being published.
Stam said yesterday: ‘‘You have to say it’s very hypocritical, one rule for one and one for another. But obviously Ferguson felt that the things in Roy’s book were true and everything I wrote was just a complete pack of lies.
‘‘I was told that Ferguson read Keane’s book before it was published but when you see all the trouble the book is causing I can’t believe he gave it his blessing.
‘‘The serialisation of my book caused a massive storm. The headlines were similar, although Keane’s were worse.
‘‘When all that is taken into consideration, I have to say I cannot believe Ferguson said to him: ‘Okay Roy, that’s a fine book, you’re right to publish it’.’’
Brian Clough also believes Ferguson should consider knocking some sense into Roy Keane. When manager at Nottingham Forest, Clough gave Keane a slap and sent him home from a tour of Jersey.
‘‘It’s got to the stage where Alex has to decide very quickly whether to remove the ‘arm around the shoulder’ approach ... and wallop him,’’ said Clough.
Keane is facing FA charges of bringing the game into disrepute following the publication of his book and was sent off for the 11th time in his career against Sunderland last weekend.
Clough said: ‘‘I only ever hit Roy the once. He got up, so I couldn’t have hit him very hard.
‘‘For Alex , the approach has to be ‘Hey, this has gone far enough, young man - you’ve had enough skirmishes. You are 31 years old and should be fully mature, on and off the field.’’