Former Sunderland player Stephen Elliott has revealed that Roy Keane refused the club to have a promotion party back in 2007.
Life at the Stadium of Light has been far from a success over the last few years, having suffered relegation from the Premier League to League One in successive seasons, with the Black Cats set to spend a third consecutive campaign in the third tier.
Keane, who now works as a TV pundit, recently hit out at Aston Villa for heavily celebrating their final day draw with West Ham United which kept them in the Premier League.
Former Sunderland player Elliott has now revealed that the former Black Cats boss was never fond of celebrations, even after the 2007 success of reaching the Premier League with the Wearside club when he took over with them in the Championship relegation zone only nine months previously (as per BBC).
He told RTÉ 2FM’s ‘Game On’, as quoted by Irish Mirror: “I had that with Roy when he managed us at Sunderland.
“We got promoted to the Premier League, and in the Championship we had won the league and he wouldn’t let us have a celebratory party after the game.
“He wouldn’t let us celebrate with the fans because his mindset was, ‘Why are you celebrating? A team like Sunderland should be in the Premier League anyway’.
“But that was him coming from somewhere where he had won the Premier League seven or eight times.
“Some lads in that squad had never won a trophy before and they wanted to celebrate with the families and the fans.
“But in Roy’s mind, it was ‘we shouldn’t be celebrating, we should be there anyway’ and I think that’s just Roy’s mindset and that’s maybe why he was such a top, top player and a big leader.”
Keane managed Sunderland for just over two years before having a spell with Ipswich Town. He later held coaching roles with Aston Villa, Nottingham Forest and the Republic of Ireland national team (as per Transfermarkt).
Whilst you can’t blame players for celebrating success or even remaining in a league, Keane’s comments on Sunderland’s standing in the English Football League are understandable.
After all, the Stadium of Light has a larger capacity (48,707) than 13 of the venues used in the Premier League this season, while they had a larger average attendance (30,118) than six top-flight clubs in 2019/20.
Those figures suggest that, as a club, they belong at Premier League level. Unfortunately, their eighth-place finish in last season’s League One table shows that they have some way to go to reclaim top-flight status.
Do you think the Sunderland players back in the summer of 2007 should have been allowed to celebrate? Let us know in the comments section below…
Click here to comment on this articleor
Give us feedback on your Football Transfer Tavern experience