Roy Keane has reopened his feud with Alex Ferguson by claiming his former manager preached loyalty but never showed him any.
Speaking at a Q&A session at the Lancashire County Cricket Club — just minutes from Old Trafford — to promote his new autobiography ‘The Second Half’, Keane dissected his acrimonious departure from the Premier League club in 2005 and insisted that although he may have pushed the boundaries, he didn’t cross them.
“I don’t think for one minute that I crossed the line. I felt I was coming to an end anyway but the stuff afterwards irritated me. The issues I had came about after I left. Lots of stuff came out that I felt were lies. Fergie would have pals in the media. I thought it was an inside job: ‘Get the message out that he’s a loose cannon’.”
Paying special attention to the fateful day when he was summoned to a showdown meeting with Ferguson and then-chief executive David Gill and subsequently shown the exit door, Keane admitted that his time at the club was always likely to end in a bitter and angry way.
‘It was never going to be like Little House on the Prairie — skipping through the fields together. But David Gill has a lot to answer for. He turned to me and said ‘Roy, you’re injured’. And I said ‘I got injured playing against Liverpool’. But I just felt it was something like ‘let’s get him out quickly’. Ferguson made a point of talking about loyalty. He could’ve shown me some. He was coming out with all this stuff about ‘honouring the contract’. They didn’t. Legally, I had every right to stay.”
The evening was dominated by Keane’s memories of Manchester United and he spoke relentlessly of the spirit of the team and the strength of the dressing room throughout his 12 and a half years at the club. But, the way in which he left still gnaws at him and he repeatedly returned to referencing Ferguson throughout proceedings.
“They should’ve done better with me,” he said.
“That’s not me being a madman saying ‘I’m gonna get Fergie back’ though I do know where he lives! But people talk about his man management as his strength — I think it’s his weakness.
“And certain ex-players would tell you different things in private. I think they done me bad but it doesn’t tarnish my time at United.”
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