This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Derby have rejected Richard Keogh’s appeal against his sacking for gross misconduct, it has been reported by The Telegraph, following the 33-year-old’s dismissal in October over his involvement in a car crash which saw team-mates Tom Lawrence and Mason Bennett arrested.
Lawrence and Bennett were both fined six weeks’ wages by the Rams and pleaded guilty to drink driving, while Keogh suffered a knee injury in the crash on the 24th September and was ruled out for more than a year.
It is understood Derby offered Keogh a revised deal on reduced wages before he was dismissed.
So were the Rams right to dismiss Keogh’s appeal?
“Given the club decided to part company with Keogh only a few weeks ago it is perhaps unsurprising that they have decided to reject his appeal to the dismissal, and it is a rather sad ending to what was a largely successful spell with the club on the field.
“It is obviously a very sensitive issue, and Derby’s board would have ensured that they thought about it long and hard before deciding to get rid of the club captain, so it was always going to prove complicated for the defender to get the club to reconsider their decision.
“Now that Derby have got the appeal out of the way they will need to concentrate on allowing Phillip Cocu to strengthen his squad in defence in the January transfer window, with the Rams looking a little short of options at the heart of defence since his departure.
“This will be a very difficult situation for Keogh on a personal note, and he will now need to concentrate on his rehabilitation before trying to find a new club when he returns to fitness, and given his experience he should still be a useful addition for a number of other clubs.”
“I’m not altogether surprised by this.
“Had Derby accepted Keogh’s appeal, then it would have almost been like admitting they were wrong to sack him in the first place, and given the scrutiny they have come under throughout this, that is not the sort of revelation they are going to want to make.
“That being said, I do have some sympathy for Keogh here, given that the other two involved in this incident – Tom Lawrence and Mason Bennett – are still at the club, which does give this a sense of one rule for some and another for others.
“Given therefore, that Keogh still has other avenues of appeal that he can explore, I would be very surprised if this is the last that we hear about this particular situation.”
Were the Rams right to dismiss Richard Keogh's appeal?
“For me this is a really sorry state of affairs for both Derby and Keogh, the player has been something of a club stalwart and for it all to end like this leaves a sour taste in the mouth.
“I believe that Keogh has not been treated fairly by the club, as they have still kept Tom Lawrence and Mason Bennett under contract, despite the fact they had more of a key role in what took place on that night.
“Keogh’s only option is to appeal to the EFL, it remains to be seen if this will get him anywhere with regards to finding a positive outcome, as things look more and more bleak for the Irishman by the day.
“Given his age and injury status, it is unlikely that Keogh will find a club to play for this season, and beyond that I believe he has only got a couple of years left at least as a professional.”