The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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United not keen on players’ books

Bangkok: Manchester United do not want their players to publish any more books following Roy Keane’s controversial autobiography.

“We need to make it clear that we don’t think it’s appropriate for players to publish a book while they’re still playing for Manchester United,” David Gill, a director of the English Premier League club, said on Thursday after signing a merchandise deal with a Thai department store.

“We want them to concentrate on playing,” Gill said. “We believe they can do other commercial deals. (David) Beckham’s here doing Castrol and Pepsi, Roy Keane does Aer Lingus, that’s fine. A book is another issue.”

But Gill said the club would not stop the publication of England captain Beckham’s planned autobiography.

“You can’t apply rules retrospectively. If he’s signed a contract, we’re not in a position to deny him that opportunity,” Gill said.

The FA charged Keane with two counts of bringing the game into disrepute on Wednesday related to an incident, detailed in his autobiography, involving Manchester City’s Alf Inge Haaland during a Premier League match in April last year.

The 31-year old former Ireland captain is quoted as saying he deliberately fouled Haaland, with whom he had a long-running feud, during the game. Both Haaland, who suffered knee damage and has barely played since, and City are planning legal action against Keane as a result of the revelations.

Gill said Manchester United’s lawyers had not seen Keane’s book before it was published, but added that the club would support their captain if he faced legal action.

United manager Alex Ferguson had said previously that the club vetted Keane’s book before publication. “I’m sure obviously the publisher’s lawyers looked at it, his lawyers looked at it. Manchester United, our in-house lawyers did not look at it,” Gill said. “It’s going to go through the process and clearly we will support Roy as a key player within Manchester United.”

Keane has two weeks to decide whether or not to attempt to clear his name following the two misconduct charges laid against him.

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