Manchester United players turned on Roy Keane, says Sir Alex Ferguson

Sir Alex Ferguson

Sir Alex Ferguson - Credit: PA Wire/PA Photos

Sir Alex Ferguson revealed several Manchester United players rounded on former skipper Roy Keane, ahead of the former Ipswich Town manager departing Old Trafford in 2005.

Roy Keane

Roy Keane - Credit: Archant

In his new autobiography which is released on Thursday, Ferguson lifted the lid on his feud with Keane, claiming his authority at Old Trafford would have been undermined had he not sold the Irishman nine years ago.

Ferguson has revealed that Keane “slaughtered” several of his team-mates in an interview for United’s in-house channel MUTV, following their 4-1 defeat to Middlesbrough in October 2005. He was released by the club the following month and joined Celtic.

Then, Keane invited his team-mates to watch the interview which was never aired, but that offer back-fired when the likes of Edwin van der Sar and Ruud van Nistelrooy rounded on the Red Devils captain.

Keane then accused Ferguson of bringing his own dispute with shareholder John Magnier over the Rock of Gibraltor racehorse into the club.

“Given the nature of the man you can expect a response. That is the type of personality Roy is,” said Ferguson.

“We had to react to the situation so quickly because his actions were so quick. For one reason or another he decides to go and criticise his team-mates.

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“Most of you won’t have seen the video but you couldn’t release it. You just couldn’t.

“It ended up with two of our young players being booed before a Champions League match in Paris because of it.

“We decided we had to do something. The meeting in the room was horrendous. I just couldn’t lose my control in this situation.

“If I had let it pass and allowed it to happen the players would have viewed me differently. Much more differently to how I would have liked to have been judged.

“Throughout my career I have been strong enough to deal with important issues like that. Roy overstepped his mark. There was no other thing we could do.”

He added: “What I noticed about him that day as I was arguing with him was that his eyes started to narrow, almost to wee black beads. It was frightening to watch. And I’m from Glasgow,” Ferguson wrote.

Ferguson admitted that Keane, who went on to manage the Blues between 2009 and 2011, later apologised at United’s training ground for his conduct.