Manchester United captain Roy Keane has been censored by the club following an outburst on MUTV in which he castigated his team-mates.

Keane’s criticisms of United’s players persuaded MUTV’s producers to send a transcript to chief executive David Gill and, after consulting United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, he ordered that the broadcast be scrapped.

According to a report in The Guardian, several players were singled out for criticism.

Rio Ferdinand, Darren Fletcher, Alan Smith, John O’Shea and Kieran Richardson are believed to be among those named and shamed following Saturday’s 4-1 defeat away to Middlesbrough, their heaviest defeat in 19 months. Liam Miller, not involved at the Riverside, is also said to have been mentioned.

Those present were taken aback by the ferocity of Keane’s remarks. He was invited to tone down his words but he continued to condemn his United teammates.

He accused certain players of playing with their reputations, of not trying and of not understanding the principles of the club. “His attitude stinks” is a phrase that was apparently used.

Keane is currently recovering from a broken foot, and having announced his intention to quit Old Trafford at the end of the season, the decision to censor his interview is unlikely to convince him that he has a future at the club.

United are currently in seventh place in the Premiership table, 13 points adrift of leaders Chelsea.

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