April 23, 2024

Roy Keane – Views on Saipan Seven Years On

In an interview with Paul Rowan, published in the Sunday Times on December 13, 2009, Roy Keane’s views on the Saipan incident appear to have shifted somewhat yet he says he still wouldn’t change what he did. The focus of his ire seems to have moved from Irish football manager, Mick McCarthy to the current CEO of the FAI, John Delaney (Delaney was not the CEO during the 2002 World Cup).

Keane was critical of Ireland’s failure to qualify for the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa but said

“It would have been a good way to gauge in terms of preparation if Ireland had qualified for South Africa…But the FAI have to take a lot of responsibility for that in terms of preparation, particularly if you do qualify for a major tournament. Would it have been any different under the new manager this year? I am not sure.”

This is a reference to his view that the FAI have not moved of, in terms of professionalism, since the Saipan affair. This is despite the fact that he was a fan of the Irish manager during the 2010 World 2010 qualification campaign, Giovanni Trapattoni, describing him as “absolutely brilliant”.

Keane Understands McCarthy’s Position in Saipan Better Now


By making this latter point Keane makes it clear that no matter how good the manager of the Republic of Ireland team is he will succeed despite the efforts of the FAI rather than because of the support that the organisation provides. In this shift of view he demonstrates an empathy with Mick McCarthy’s position back in 2002 in Saipan.

“I do look back every now and again and I had a fall-out with Mick over one or two issues … A manager has a lot on his plate. I realise that now I am a manager. When we look back to Saipan with Mick and the squad there, the manager has a lot on his plate in terms of the squad and his staff.

I think what he hopes will be organised, particularly by the association, are the facilities. I do know the manager needs to be on top of that, but he needs a little help …”

Not exactly an exoneration of Mick McCarthy by Roy Keane but the closest he has come, so far, to acknowledging that maybe he, Keane, had gone too far in heaping opprobrium on his former international playing colleague and manager.

But in customary Keane-fashion he has to be at war with someone and this time it’s John Delaney.

Keane at War with the Delaney Dynasty

Keane’s problems with Delaney began with his father, Joe Delaney. “We had our disagreements even when I was 15, 16, 17, going away. All my troubles would have started when I was 15 years of age, believe it or not, when I was told I was too small. Maybe I just had a thing, ‘I’ll show ye all’. I think his dad was running the show then, so it has just been passed on.”

Keane would like to see an end to the Delaney hegemony “I had my dealings with John Delaney and if he is the senior figure in the FAI then, I’ve said before, I don’t think that is good. Not the way he comes across.”

He was particularly unimpressed with the FAI request of FIFA to expand the number of clubs competing in the 2010 World Cup finals from 32 to 33.

“I was laughing, it was so stupid. And that was coming from the FAI. Where was the common sense there? How would that have worked? An extra team in one of the groups? Extra games? Do you not think they have the dates organised for years in advance? But someone once said common sense is not so common.”

And so it would appear that McCarthy has been substituted as Roy Keane’s bête noir by John Delaney.

Back to Saipan Affair Table of Contents – Irish Football

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Saipan Table of Contents Roy Keane & Eamon Dunphy
Saipan Introduction Roy Keane & Cork
Methodology Keane’s Aversion to Being Away From Home
Saipan Conclusions Roy Keane’s Relationship with Ireland
Roy Keane – Mick McCarthy Relationship Roy Keane – Zenith Data Systems Cup
Roy Keane Version of Saipan Incident Roy Keane – Jack Charlton Relationship
Mick McCarthy Version of Saipan Incident 1 Roy Keane’s Flawed Character
Mick McCarthy Account of Saipan Incident 2 Roy Keane’s Good Character
Niall Quinn Version of Saipan Incident Roy Keane – Footballer
Jason McAteer Version of Saipan Incident Roy Keane – Team Captain
Matt Holland Version of Saipan Incident Roy Keane – Family Man
Roy Keane & Saipan – The Backdrop Roy Keane & Faking Injury
Roy Keane & Saipan – The Issues Roy Keane – Bad Boy
Keane / McCarthy Boston Row 1992 Roy Keane – Career Lows
Keane Misses Iran Playoff Game Roy Keane – Red Cards
Keane Misses Niall Quinn Testimonial Roy Keane – Cruciate Injury
Countdown to Saipan Incident Roy Keane & Alf-Inge Haaland
Roy Keane Saipan Tirade at Mick McCarthy Roy Keane & Gareth Southgate Red Card
Roy Keane / Tom Humphries Saipan Interview 1 Roy Keane & Alan Shearer Red Card
Keane / Humphries Saipan Interview 2 Roy Keane / Alex Ferguson Relationship 1
Roy Keane / Irish Times Saipan Interview 3 Roy Keane & Sir Alex Ferguson 2
Roy Keane / Paul Kimmage Saipan Interview 1 Roy Keane & Charity
Keane / Kimmage Saipan Interview 2 Roy Keane & Autobiography Contradictions
Roy Keane / Sunday Independent Saipan Interview 3 Roy Keane & Contradictions
Roy Keane / Tommie Gorman Interview 1 Roy Keane – Integrity
Roy Keane / Tommy Gorman Interview 2 Roy Keane – International Matches
Roy Keane / RTE Interview 3 Roy Keane – Football Record
FAI Involvement in Saipan Affair Roy Keane & Sandwiches
Saipan Reaction of Irish Players Roy Keane – Walker
Mick McCarthy – ‘crap player, crap manager’ Saipan – Pacific Island
Roy Keane / Mick McCarthy Playing Record I Keano – The Musical
Colin Healy – Forgotten Man of Saipan Roy Keane – Football Manager
Saipan Ten Years Later Roy Keane’s Dog Triggs
Roy Keane’s Autobiography Saipan Bibiliography


Roy Keane – View Seven Years After Saipan
Football Quotes on Saipan


Triggs – The Autobiography of Roy Keane’s Dog
Ireland at 2002 World Cup Finals – Irish 2002 World Cup Squad – Irish Group Matches
Ireland V Cameroon – Ireland V Germany – Ireland V Saudi Arabia – Ireland V Spain