Roy Keane blames Sunderland exit on businessman Ellis Short

21 February 2009 05:04
Keane has attributed his dramatic resignation on relations with Quinn and Texas-based Short whose is now taking over the Wearside club from the Drumaville consortium after his purchase of a 30 per cent chunk of shares was revealed by Telegraph Sport last September.

"We had sat down with him a couple of times, Niall and I," the former Manchester United skipper said of his relationship with Ellis in an interview in the Irish Times.

"I went down to London to meet him twice. I thought, hmm, the dynamics are changing here. He said he had read my book. I felt he was thinking from the start that I wasn't for him. He sort of knew this wasn't going to be a long-term relationship." Things came to a head in a brief conversation on the eve of his December 4 resignation following the 4-1 defeat by Bolton - Keane's last game in charge.

"It started with a demand to know where I had been the previous day, that he wanted me available at all times," Keane said. "It was a disappointment.

Then there were accusations about how often I came in, about moving my family up. And it was the tone." A call to his London-based lawyer, Michael Kennedy, quickly followed which Keane reported as: "Michael, speak with whoever you have to speak to. I'm done with Sunderland."

He continued: "At United, I finished and I knew I was just an employee to them. At Sunderland it was the same. I left and people came out saying 's gone and we're all more relaxed'.

"It was them and me. The United experience helped me. It didn't upset me, what happened at Sunderland. It was a business decision. Even for me I suppose it was a business decision. I couldn't give my heart and soul with this fella on my shoulder. That, I'm sure, is how he works." Keane, who said he would be "happy to manage a Championship club", also took aim at Quinn, his former Republic of Ireland team-mate, who had masterminded his appointment as manager in August 2006.

"He was talking to me about the players needing to come into work with a smile on their face," Keane said. "That really concerned me. The day I walked into Sunderland, putting a smile on the faces of well-paid players was the last thing anybody wanted me to do. Players had been taking the p**s out of the club for years. If they wanted them smiling all the time they should have employed Roy Chubby Brown.

"My question to Niall was, who are you listening to here? It wasn't Niall.

It was the undercurrent. Where it was coming from. Smiles on players' faces?

It's my job to get them training well. There was good spirit. That's what had kept us in the Premiership last year. Our spirit. That got the alarm bells ringing. Without a shadow of a doubt. The American fella would have been on Niall's case.

"To be fair to Niall, I think he would have been under similar pressure. And maybe this is an understatement, but Niall would be more diplomatic than me.

He can roll with things." Keane added: "When I became a manager, Niall became a chairman. I always believed we were working together, not one working for the other. It worked well. I couldn't have faked that if I didn't feel it working. Drumaville, they were spot on and it worked.

"I was more comfortable with Drumaville. I never saw them after matches, I think, but they stuck to what agreement we had. They'd come in, watch the games, and get a flight back home to Ireland."

Keane has attributed his dramatic resignation to relations with Quinn and Texas-based Short, who is now taking over the Wearside club from the Drumaville consortium after his purchase of a 30 per cent chunk of shares was revealed by Telegraph Sport last September.

"We had sat down with him a couple of times, Niall and I," the former Manchester United skipper said of his relationship with Short in an interview in the Irish Times.

"I went down to London to meet him twice. I thought, hmm, the dynamics are changing here. He said he had read my book. I felt he was thinking from the start that I wasn't for him. He sort of knew this wasn't going to be a long-term relationship."

Things came to a head in a brief conversation on the eve of his December 4 resignation following the 4-1 defeat by Bolton – Keane's last game in charge.

"It started with a demand to know where I had been the previous day, that he wanted me available at all times. Then there were accusations about how often I came in, about moving my family up. And it was the tone," said Keane.

A call to his lawyer, Michael Kennedy, quickly followed, which Keane reported as: "Michael, speak with whoever you have to speak to. I'm done with Sunderland." He continued: "At United, I finished and I knew I was just an employee to them. At Sunderland it was the same. I left and people came out saying – he's gone and we're all more relaxed. It was them and me. The United experience helped me. It didn't upset me, what happened at Sunderland. It was a business decision. Even for me, I suppose, it was a business decision. I couldn't give my heart and soul with this fella on my shoulder. That, I'm sure, is how he works."

Keane, who said he would be "happy to manage a Championship club", also took aim at Quinn, his former Republic of Ireland team-mate, who had masterminded his appointment in August 2006.

"He was talking to me about the players needing to come into work with a smile on their face," Keane said. "That really concerned me. The day I walked into Sunderland, putting a smile on the faces of well-paid players was the last thing anybody wanted me to do. Players had been taking the p**s out of the club for years. If they wanted them smiling all the time they should have employed Roy Chubby Brown.

"My question to Niall was, who are you listening to here? It wasn't Niall. It was the undercurrent. Where it was coming from. Smiles on players' faces?

"It's my job to get them training well. There was good spirit. That's what had kept us in the Premiership last year. Our spirit. That got the alarm bells ringing. Without a shadow of a doubt. The American fella would have been on Niall's case.

"To be fair to Niall, I think he would have been under similar pressure. And maybe this is an understatement, but Niall would be more diplomatic than me.

"He can roll with things." Keane added: "When I became a manager, Niall became a chairman. I always believed we were working together, not one working for the other. It worked well. I couldn't have faked that if I didn't feel it working. Drumaville, they were spot on and it worked.

"I was more comfortable with Drumaville. I never saw them after matches, I think, but they stuck to what agreement we had. They'd come in, watch the games, and get a flight back to Ireland."

Source: Telegraph


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