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Town Bosses Were Never In Same Room
Town Bosses Were Never In Same Room
Tuesday, 7th Oct 2014 16:35

Former Town boss Roy Keane reveals that he, owner Marcus Evans and chief executive Simon Clegg never held a meeting together during his 20 months at the club in his latest autobiography The Second Half, which is already in some shops despite being officially published on Thursday.

Keane devotes a chapter to his time with the Blues and gives his view on most of the controversies during his time at Portman Road.

His nemesis Mick McCarthy is mentioned infrequently, he recounts the pair meeting up for a chat at a hotel and Keane saying he was for the Saipan affair - "I'm not sure I had anything to apologise for" - prior to Sunderland playing Wolves.

He opens his chapter on his time at Portman Road with the surprise revelation that the three men running Town were never in the same room at the same time, something which only occurred to him after he’d moved on.

“There was the occasional video link-up to the owner but the three of us never met,” he says in the book, which he wrote with Booker Prize winner Roddy Doyle.

“I never once said, ‘Can the three of us get together, to see about getting some players in?’. There was never that trust - never. You need to see people’s eyes.”

Keane says he didn’t feel too sorry for Jim Magilton while negotiating to take over at Town while the Northern Irishman was still manager, having fallen out with him when Tommy Miller’s proposed loan move back to the Blues from Sunderland broke down.

He says he didn’t get the same thrill as he did when he took over at the Stadium of Light: “I didn’t feel the excitement I’d felt going up to Sunderland. I’m not sure why not. I feel bad even admitting that.”

The 43-year-old believes he ought to have brought in more of his own staff immediately in addition to first-team coach Tony Loughlan.

“Chris Kiwomya was there, and Bryan Klug, and Steve McCall was the chief scout. They’d all played for Ipswich. It had the feel of a family club that didn’t need breaking up. But that was exactly what it needed.”

He feels winning his first two games at the end of 2009/10 season was ultimately a bad thing, had Town lost at Cardiff in his first match he might have seen the task that lay ahead as a “rebuilding job”.

The pre-season camp with the army at Colchester “didn’t create the bond or spirit” which was intended and a lot of the players ended up with blisters just as the season started.

Admitting that he went over the top with the players after defeats - “ranting and raving” - during the run of 15 league games without a win the following season, he adds: “I think I lacked a bit of patience with myself at Ipswich. I suppose I thought I could relive my Sunderland experience. But I couldn’t get the momentum.”

Keane says he and his family never really settled while in Suffolk, they moved three times, and he had no chemistry with Clegg, although believes this was more to do with their different social backgrounds rather than the chief executive’s lack of footballing credentials.

However, he did find Clegg inexperienced in football matters and more there for Evans than himself: “I think he was all about being answerable to Marcus, not helping the manager. Everything was hard work.”

Keane wanted to add to the “quiet” squad he had inherited and targeted Tamas Priskin, who he believed was worth £400,000 and “couldn’t believe it” when he heard Town paid £1,750,000 for the Hungarian, not having had any involvement in that side of the transfer process. He also felt the club overpaid for Carlos Edwards and Grant Leadbitter, who he thought were worth half the £4 million the club paid Sunderland for the duo.

The Corkman says he “liked the look of Jordan Rhodes”, adding: “I still get criticised for selling Jordan, and I have to accept that. But it was also a club decision. We sold him to Huddersfield, down a division, for [an initial] £350,000, and he started scoring loads of goals.

“I think I was the one who suggested a sell-on clause, and thank God we had it because they sold him to Blackburn for £8 million. The mistake myself and the staff made with Jordan was, we discussed what he couldn’t do rather than what he could do.”

Looking back, he says Lee Martin wasn't good enough for the Championship and he was too hard on Damien Delaney and Colin Healy, perhaps because they were from Cork and he knew them.

Overall, regarding his additions, he admits: “My recruitment wasn’t good enough. I’ve no excuses.”

He says he “almost physically attacked” Pablo Couñago after the striker - who Keane found “dead lazy” - had said ‘How are we going to win anything with you as the manager?’ having been criticised by his manager following a poor display in a friendly against Spurs.

Keane, however, liked Connor Wickham even though he got “kicked out of his digs” for leaving a mobile charger plugged in with no phone connected.

Perhaps surprisingly, he also had time for the club’s supporters - “Fans were decent to me” - and felt not joining the squad for the end of season walk round the pitch was a mistake.

He says Shaun Derry wanted to sign after meeting with him but no deal was offered by club: “I rang Simon [Clegg]. ‘What’s happening with Shaun? He wants to sign. It’s only a one-year deal’. He said, ‘No, we’re not going ahead with it.’ The warning signs were there.”

There were similar stories with Lee Carsley and Kevin Kilbane and Keane was annoyed that the club didn’t call the latter to tell him the deal wasn’t happening.

Regarding his bust-up with his skipper Jon Walters he felt the striker went about getting his move to Stoke in the wrong way.

He says Walters had heard that the Potters were after him but Keane was unaware of any interest but that the player didn’t believe him, leading to a confrontation: “There was effing and blinding, a bit of shoving.”

Keane admits that saying Walters wouldn’t play for the club again was a mistake and that the matter could have been handled better. The two have now made up with the frontman part of the Martin O’Neill and Keane’s Ireland squad.

The former Manchester United skipper says he didn't know Jon Stead was talking to Blackpool and then Bristol City about a move in the summer of 2010 and wanted Marton Fulop to join on loan rather than be bought for Sunderland for £750,000.

Keane, who says he still gets on with owner Evans, they spoke recently when Town were at Birmingham, also writes about coach Gary Ablett’s death from non-Hodgkin lymphoma - “It was shocking” - and he and the staff visiting the former Liverpool defender in hospital in Cambridge and then Manchester.

As for his January 2011 sacking, Keane says he wasn’t expecting it: “I was really hurt by it, not far from distraught.”

Overall, he believes he and the club were never a good fit: “I couldn’t feel it - the chemistry. Me and the club. I get annoyed now, thinking that. I should have been able to accept it: I was there to do a job.”

He adds: “I don’t think I’m a bad manager, but at Ipswich I managed badly. But all the people I’ve admired - they’ve all had bad spells. So I probably learnt more at Ipswich than I did at Sunderland.”

The Second Half is published by Weidenfeld and Nicolson and officially goes on sale on Thursday. It can be ordered from Amazon here.

Photo: Action Images

Please report offensive, libellous or inappropriate posts by using the links provided.

Michael11 added 16:44 - Oct 7
Yeah it's such a shame we never signed Lee Carsley, Shaun Derry and Kevin Kilbane isn't it?! Hahaha still won't accept that it's his fault Jordan Rhodes was sold even when Rhodes himself said it was! Grade A idiot!

AbujaBlue added 16:46 - Oct 7
‘How are we going to win anything with you as the manager?'

One of the few players who actually stood up to the bully. Surely this cements Pablo's status as an Ipswich legend?

Dowson added 16:46 - Oct 7

floridaboy added 16:48 - Oct 7
Have to agree with him. He was not a bad manager. He was a terrible manager who did our club a lot of damage!

WadeyBlue added 16:49 - Oct 7
Pablo cannot get any higher in status. Absolute legend.

tractordownsouth added 16:50 - Oct 7
To be fair Shaun Derry was excellent for Q.P.r. That season but we did not need Kilbane or Carsley.

MVBlue added 16:53 - Oct 7
Viva Pablo.
What a bloody mess.

BlueandTruesince82 added 16:55 - Oct 7
Whilis I admit (begrudgingly) that I didn't manage ipswich well here is a list of excuses why it wasnt my fault. Idiot.

DublinBlue84 added 17:01 - Oct 7
Pablo was dead right too.

This_girl_is_blue added 17:08 - Oct 7
Disaster from start to finish and of his own making! He can't really complain, Evans and Clegg both backed him and he was given the cash to spend. He's not exactly lit up the place with his management skills since he left- which leads me to think that it wasn't so much a bad spell that he went through here- more a reflection of who he really is.

TractorCam added 17:31 - Oct 7
A nice read on the dark days at the club, seems like 1 minute he's blaming himself the next he's blaming someone else. Who doesn't love Pablo Counago?

muhrensleftfoot added 17:41 - Oct 7
Without doubt the worst manager Ipswich have ever had, at least in my lifetime, & Bill McGarry was manager when I saw my first game. OK Jewell wasn't great either, but at least he was a decent human being. RK set us back years. A truly nasty man with a massive ego. Thank goodness for McCarthy - don't always agree with his tactics and selection, but he's upfront and honest & we look like we could really compete in the top 6 this season.

Dozzells_Bobblehat added 17:46 - Oct 7
Always loved Pablo. Even more so now.

Cloddyseedbed added 18:08 - Oct 7
TractorCam me I'm afraid. Never my type of player either, but I hated RK as much as it's possible to hate someone! Set the club back years, but hopefully things are now looking brighter. I now can't wait for the next game to come along. I haven't felt like that for several seasons.

PJH added 18:10 - Oct 7
I remember a shareholders meeting not long before Keane was sacked with Keane making all sorts of excuses and Clegg sitting next to him nodding like a pet monkey.I think the three consecutive days when Clegg was appointed,Jim sacled and then Keane appointed were three of the darkest days in the clubs history.

blueboy1981 added 18:16 - Oct 7
....... after reading some of this, not so sure Keane was the only one 'who hadn't a clue' as to what they were doing / how to run a successful Football Club.

Makes you cringe to think that such could happen to a Club of our pedigree / past reputation.

HarryfromBath added 18:16 - Oct 7
Firstly, many thanks to Phil for taking the time and trouble to fillet Keane's book for the salient ITFC-related points and for laying them out so clearly.

I share everyone's admiration for Pablo Counago for standing up to Keane's bullying when it was manifestly wrong that things weren't working out. Keane is fully prepared to admit his mistakes, but this does little to excuse the evident damage which his reign brought to the club.

It would be good, and I would almost say necessary now to hear Simon Clegg's thoughts and reaction to Keane's comments. These don't portray his wider management of the club in the best light and they lend substance to the suspicions many fans felt about how things were run at the time.

big_gaz67 added 18:27 - Oct 7
I'm not a Pablo fan - I thought the only think Keane done right in the whole of his Ipswich tenure was point out the fact he was lazy and in turn, we now find out, the only think Pablo did right was stick up this idiot.


townfan20 added 18:34 - Oct 7
He bought a house in Woodbridge which is still up for sale with Fine and Country

I dont think he ever really settled in the town and allegedly having a go at two local kids wanting an autograph whilst walking his dogs didnt go down well

Marcus added 18:46 - Oct 7
I got as far as: “Chris Kiwomya was there, and Bryan Klug, and Steve McCall was the chief scout. They'd all played for Ipswich. It had the feel of a family club that didn't need breaking up. But that was exactly what it needed.”

...and had to stop as my normal calm persona changed and 'muppet' was the most polite word in my head. He demolished the team but with the back room staff the trick is to bring in your own people into key positions to SUPPLEMENT club legends not to REPLACE them. Idiot. Idiot. Idiot. Idiot...

Whitecaps_Fan added 18:48 - Oct 7
Roy, when your book is in the bargain bin at one of those discount book shops, I will laugh my head off.

grumpyoldman added 18:50 - Oct 7
Again all the past prejudices come out, did anyone read that he thought Priskin was worth less than a quarter of what Clegg negotiated or that we paid double what he thought Leadbitter and Edwards were worth. Or the ultimate decision on Rhodes wasn't his.
I thought Keane was crap as a manager but don't just use the book to re-enforce your prejudies

Tufty added 18:57 - Oct 7
He certainly did us no favours when he got himself sacked so we got Paul Jewell who was not much better.
But every cloud we now have Mick Mac he could elevate the club and himself to dizzy heights and without breaking the bank.
Forget Roy Keane look to a bright future cant wait for the next game.

Daz added 19:02 - Oct 7
Rather than moan about Keane which really was lack of experience, I'm interested in the way signings were done. The Club was not run right at all. As for Jordon he was banging in goals for 2 or 3 seasons before being sold. Blame has to go to the club as well.

dangerous30 added 19:07 - Oct 7
Life is about leaning he said he got it wrong here and paid the price with the Sack. Everything happens for a reason and we have a great manger here too hopefully take us too better things.

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