Listen to expletive-ridden audio account of former Ipswich boss Keane's row with Walters on Ireland duty
PUBLISHED: 10:42 11 September 2018 | UPDATED: 15:21 11 September 2018
An audio file outlining a row between former Ipswich manager Roy Keane, Blues striker Jon Walters and Ireland team-mate Harry Arter has been leaked online.
* Warning - audio file contains expletive language
In the leaked audio, Burnley’s Stephen Ward outlines details of a dispute between the three men during a Republic of Ireland training camp in May this year.
Ireland boss Martin O’Neill has confirmed the authenticity of the audio file but disputes Ward’s account of the events, given he was not present at the time.
In Ward’s account, which is ridden with expletives, the Burnley player details how assistant boss Keane confronted both Walters and Arter due to the fact they were absent from training with injuries.
Walters and Keane have clashed previously, while the two were together at Portman Road in 2010, with Keane stripping Walters of the captaincy and insisting the forward would never play for him again after accusing him of trying to force a move away from Portman Road.
Arter, on loan at Cardiff from Bournemouth, has since told O’Neill that he does not want to be considered for selection while Walters played in the 4-1 defeat by Wales at the weekend but will not feature against Poland.
After the audio file was made public, Ireland legends John Giles and Liam Brady called for Keane to be sacked.
The full transcript of Ward’s voice message
“So basically lads, Roy was getting on to the lads for not training three days in a row. Johnny’s got a bad knee so he can’t train all the time,” Ward explains in the message.
“They were at the training ground and him and Harry were just sitting on the bench, just relaxing and icing themselves and stuff.
“Roy walked over and was like, ‘Why aren’t you lads training?’ and he blatantly knew why they weren’t training because the manager would have told him and they were like, ‘We can’t do three days in a row’. ‘What are you guys? Professional footballers? That’s a shambles that is’.
“The both didn’t say anything and Roy walked off and came back over again, ‘So when are you going to train, I’m sick of people pulling out with injuries, what the f*** is wrong with ya?’ and the lads were like, ‘Listen, we’ve got problems, we do it at our clubs, we can’t do it’. Roy said something under his breath about Johnny and walked off.
“Jonny lost his head, jumped off the bench and walked after him, grabbed his arm and said, ‘What’s the story Roy? If you’ve got a problem say it to my face, don’t f**king walk off’.
“And he was like, ‘I do have a problem, you’re not training, you’re getting soft, it’s no wonder Dyche doesn’t play ya, you’re f**king always looking for an argument like you are now’ and he was like, ‘No Roy, you are the one trying to start an argument’, and apparently they were squaring off to each other and having it off and had to be pulled off each other. All the lads were grabbing Jonny away from him... Jonny was going to kill him.
“Roy brought up something about when they were at Ipswich together, they had like a falling out as well. ‘You’re threatening me again Jon, like you did at Ipswich’, and Jonny was like, ‘Yeah, are you going to be a s**thouse again and send me my fine in the post rather than say it to my face?’.
“It blew over for a few days and then they flew out to France and Jonny apparently just texted Roy like, ‘Listen Roy, I’m in room whatever, if you wanna come up, you’ve obviously got something on your mind that p**ses you off about me because it’s causing tension in the squad, let’s talk it out’.
“Apparently Roy just wrote back, ‘Nah, I’m just here to help players. People like you... stay out of each other’s way. You don’t need to reply to this message’, and that was that.
“They got back from France and Harry felt his quad in training again. So he wasn’t training. Apparently he was getting treatment in the treatment room and Roy walked in and was like, ‘When are you going to train you f**king p**ck?’ and Harry was like, ‘What?’, and he was like, ‘Any chance of you training?’.
“He explained the situation again and Roy was going off going, ‘You’re a f**king pr**k, you’re a c**t, you don’t even care, you don’t wanna train’, and Harry was just going, ‘Roy, I’m not speaking to you like this. I’m not listening to you. You’re not the manager. You can’t say anything to me’.
“Apparently Roy was going mad getting worse and worse and Harry got up off the treatment bed and was walking back to his room. As he was walking back Roy was shouting down the corridor, ‘You’re a f**king pr**k, you’re a c**t you’ve been all your life’ and that was really it lads. It didn’t come to blows but basically just Roy losing his head.”
Ireland manager Martin O’Neill responded to the leaked audio yesterday, confirming its authenticity but questioning Ward’s account.
“First of all, I don’t think that Stephen was there. Stephen wasn’t actually there,” he said.
“He was just picking up on things; something that we talked about at the beginning of the week. Probably not anything more really to report.
“Jon is fine. Harry is perhaps not so fine. But I said to you before, you would have to ask whether that is the complete reason why Harry is not participating in these games this time.
“I think you probably know that anyway, because Harry has let that be known to a few people anyway, on the reasons that he has decided not to come.
“First of all the incidents took place at the end of May. They have surfaced months later. It’s not the first altercation between players and staff. I had one with the man beside me on Friday [David Meyler] and he took it on board.
“Sometimes I think the game has changed. Players need to go out and prove the management wrong. If you’re asking about Roy’s criticism of players, this is my responsibility. I will take full responsibility of anything that goes on.
“We have lost two competitive games on the trot. In the previous 11 we lost one. I’ve capped eight players this year to get us ready.
“These two confrontations took place months ago, they happen all the time, I will be astonished if there isn’t one between now and November.”