Club captain Richard Keogh is SACKED by Derby after refusing to take pay cut on his £1.3m-a-year wages following career-threatening knee injury suffered in drink driving crash with team-mates
- Derby County initially told captain Richard Keogh to accept a massive pay cut
- He suffered serious knee injuries following alcohol-fuelled team bonding night
- He was in back seat of team-mate Tom Lawrence’s Land Rover when it crashed
- Keogh has now been sacked by Championship club after refusing their terms
Richard Keogh has been sacked by Derby after he decided not to accept an offer of reduced wages in order to stay at the Championship club.
The defender sustained serious injuries at the end of a team-bonding night last month, suffering knee ligament damage that is likely to keep him on the sidelines for more than a year. He has 14 days to appeal against the decision.
Keogh, 33, was in the back seat of Tom Lawrence’s car when it crashed into a lamp post after the night out on September 24. He was earning about £25,000 a week, with the offer thought to be significantly less than that.
Richard Keogh has been given an ultimatum by Derby and chose to leave the club
Keogh was in the back of a black Range Rover last month while it was involved in a car crash
In a statement on Wednesday night, Derby wrote: ‘Derby County Football Club has completed the disciplinary hearing regarding Richard Keogh in respect of his involvement in the events of Tuesday, September 24th.
‘As a result of that process, Mr Keogh has had his contract terminated with immediate effect for gross misconduct. He has the right of appeal within 14 days.
‘As we have said from the outset, the Club will not tolerate any of its players or staff behaving in a manner which puts themselves, their colleagues, and members of the general public at risk of injury or worse, or which brings the club into disrepute.’
Derby forward Tom Lawrence was driving the Range Rover that had Keogh in the back
Lawrence, the Wales forward, and team-mate Mason Bennett were fined, banned from driving for two years and ordered to carry out 180 hours of unpaid for their part in the car crash, which happened on the A6.
The pair appeared in court on October 15 after being charged with drink driving. Derby also fined Lawrence and Bennett six weeks’ wages each.
Keogh had been at Derby since July 2012, joining from Coventry in a deal worth about £1million.
He had made more than 300 appearances for the Rams and led them last season when they reached the Championship play-off final.
It is now probable that the Professional Footballers’ Association will become involved in the matter as Keogh considers his options, ahead of a long road back to fitness.
Keogh has been ruled out until December 2020 after being involved in the horror car crash