Roy Keane on Manchester United: Which managers are in Manchester United’s Alex Ferguson’s pocket?
Why? Well, Keane, the former Manchester United captain Roy Keane, says that in April 2008, he was the subject of legal action by the club. The legal threat resulted from Keane’s article in the Irish Times of April 5, 2008, in which he was criticle of United.
Says Roy Keane:
“The way it [his exit from United] ended, the legal letter, I couldn’t have gone and sat there like everything was great. He [Ferguson] would come and we all stand up and clap, I couldn’t have done that.”
The threat of legal nastiness vanished. But Keane has been pricked by Ferguson’s decision to say in his programme notes for the United’s recent game with Wolverhampton Wanderers:
“We will take a lot of stick from critics and even from people we thought were perhaps on our side.”
“There was an angle there of trying to get the fans to look differently at me and I thought, ‘I can’t have that’. I thought that was ridiculous.”
Following Man United’s defeat in Basel, for which Keane acted as a TV pundit, Ferguson invited people to compare the two men’s record in management.
Keane is scathing:
“If you want to question my managerial record, listen, you could question every pundit’s managerial skill in relation to his and we’re all going to come up short. But I would also say that without players like myself, maybe he wouldn’t have such a good managerial record because players who go down the punditry road, it’s soon forgotten that we put bodies on the line for him…
“People say he stood by me in difficult times. But [he didn’t] when I was 34, not when I was towards the end and had a few differences with Carlos Queiroz. All of a sudden then, ‘Off you go, Roy, and here’s the statement we’ve done’…”
Keane sees evidence of this in Ferguson’s decision to sue John Magnier over the breeding rights to the stallion Rock Of Gibraltar.
“This didn’t help the club, the manager going to law against its leading shareholder. How could it be of benefit to the club? I said, ‘You’re not going to win’, and he said, ‘I don’t care, no-one does that to me’. And I go, ‘Okay, off you go, I’m not going to change your mind’.”
But the best comment is this:
“[Roberto] Martinez [the Wigan manager] made a point about it a year or two ago, suggesting certain managers were in Ferguson’s pocket, although he then claimed he was misinterpreted. But you see it. Ex-players and even managers, like lapdogs around him, nodding their heads…
“You see managers interviewed after their team has beaten Chelsea or Arsenal, [saying] ‘We’ve won. Fergie will be delighted, maybe a bottle of wine will be on the way to me now.’ You work that one out.”
Which managers does Fergie have ‘in his pocket’? Tell us…