Roy Keane has blamed Ellis Short and a change of attitude from Niall Quinn for his decision to quit Sunderland.
Ex-boss blames American investor for change of dynamics
Former Sunderland boss Roy Keane has blamed American investor Ellis Short and a change of attitude from chairman Niall Quinn for his decision to quit the club.
Keane performed miracles at The Stadium of Light after winning promotion to the Premier League at the first attempt before going on to retain their top-flight status in the 2007/08 season with a fine 15th-placed finish.
However, Keane dramatically resigned from his Black Cats post in December after 28 months in charge and the Manchester United legend has now spoken for the first time about the reasons behind his departure.
The former Republic of Ireland international believes the arrival of Short left him questioning his future due to his unusual requests.
"We had sat down with him a couple of times, Niall and I," Keane told 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.
"It started with a demand to know where I had been the previous day, that he wanted me available at all times. It was a disappointment. Then there were accusations about how often I came in, about moving my family up. And it was the tone."
Keane also revealed a change in attitude from Quinn concerned him deeply after the club's supremo revealed his desire for the manager to put a smile back on the players' faces.
"He was talking to me about the players needing to come into work with a smile on their face. That really concerned me," he continued.
"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 piss 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."