Rio Ferdinand has recalled the “mad” argument between Roy Keane and Sir Alex Ferguson that ultimately led to the Manchester United captain’s exit from the club.
The Irishman gave an infamous interview on MUTV in 2004 in which he skewered a number of his teammates at the time, including Ferdinand, and his manager.
The interview has been the stuff of lore as it was never aired on the club television channel after Ferguson found out about it. Keane subsequently stormed out of a meeting with the Scot and Chief Executive David Gill after being told that he would never play for the Red Devils again.
Speaking about the verbal spat on his YouTube channel, FIVE, Ferdinand said: “We play a game on a Saturday, a player gets nominated on MUTV to do analysis of that game. We get beat by Middlesbrough, everyone plays rubbish. Roy Keane does the video analysis and destroys the whole team, including me. He goes through people individually, hammers them.
“The manager, before it goes out, gets wind of it, cancels it going out, says it ain’t going out anywhere, that is a disgrace, it can’t happen.
“Calls a meeting at the training ground, we all go into the manager’s office, watch it and the manager goes off. It’s a movie in itself, everyone’s cringing. The manager’s going ‘how dare you, I’m the only one who should speak about our players publicly’.”
“Roy has a go back, it kicks off between the coach and Roy again, some mad stuff said. The next day we go into training, the manager calls a meeting as we go on the training pitch and says just so you know Roy Keane will never play for this football club again.”
Ferdinand went on to explain the effect that had on the Man United squad after Keane was axed from the club. “Shiver me timbers. Do not f**k with this guy, do not mess with Sir Alex. This guy is the truth. This guy is the coldest dude about.
“This is our captain, this is a legend of the football club, a phenomenal player, a great guy to have around the place when the chips are down.you know you can look to your right and go Roy, where do we go now?
“The manager says not on my watch, this ain’t happening. My man is done, he’s done. He’s doing that, he will never wear this kit again, looking around and all of a sudden he goes, let’s go and train.”
“I know some man’s legs were flaky after that on the way over, like spaghetti on the way to the training pitch, because Sir Alex Ferguson’s cold, you’ve got to be cold in those situations.”
Roy Keane moved to Celtic in December of that year, a month after the MUTV interview occurred.