The former Manchester United midfielder says his relationship with chairman Niall Quinn has reached breaking point and he also had problems with majority shareholder Ellis Short.
“We had sat down with him [Short] 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 continued: “[Quinn] was talking to me about the players needing to come into work with a smile on their face. 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*** 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 [Short] would have been on Niall’s case.”