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Roy Keane has never been one to mince his words or hide his true feelings, but one incident stands above all others. Back in 2005, the midfielder ended his own Manchester United career with a blistering interview given to in-house media at the club.
The footage was said to be so explosive, it was destroyed after, and few have ever seen it. It was so bad that Keane never played for the club again.
To set the scene, United had lost 4-1 at Middlesbrough, and Keane tore into team-mates Rio Ferdinand, John O'Shea, Darren Fletcher, Kieran Richardson, Alan Smith and Edwin van der Sar. After the nature of the interview started to leak, it was decided a team meeting would be held to watch and discuss the video.
The results were not good, and newly-signed goalkeeper Van Der Sar is said to have questioned whether Keane could have used a different tone. At that point, Keane reportedly blew his top, shouting: “Edwin, why don’t you shut the f*** up? You’ve been at this club for two minutes and you've done more interviews than I’ve done in my 12 years. It was MUTV – I had to do it."
Keane has always been eager to downplay the interview and its content, and has often insisted that the situation was exaggerated. But Wayne Rooney, who was just 19 at the time, admitted he saw Sir Alex Ferguson leap over his desk during the all-hands team meeting.
Rooney said: "Roy asked if any of the players had a problem and everyone said no because, to be fair, it wasn’t that bad. It got into an argument between Roy and the manager. A few things got said and then I’ve seen Alex Ferguson jumping over his desk."
Just 18 days after the interview, Keane was paid out of his contract and released by the club, going on to sign for Celtic as a free agent. His relationship with Ferguson has never recovered, and the two are believed to have even snubbed each other while sat just seats away on a plane trip to France.
Keane believes the leaking of the tape was simply propaganda from the club, and denied he'd spoken out of turn. Instead, he claims any of his team-mates who watched the video with him would say they had no issue with his choice of words.
He said in 2014: "This idea that I was ranting and raving was usual nonsense. The tape had to be destroyed… what a load of rubbish. The good thing for me is I got to watch it with the players before I left, and it was fine. Ask any of the players who watched it, it was just a bit of propaganda."
- Manchester United FC
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