Derby County must pay a sacked former player of theirs a total of £2MILLION after he won an appeal over his dismissal by the club.
Richard Keogh suffered a career-threatening knee injury during a drink-driving crash with some of his Rams team-mates back in October 2019.
The incident happened on the A6 near Allestree, but fans were left furious after finding out that Tom Lawrence and Mason Bennett, who were both arrested for drink-driving, were able to stay at the club.
Keogh, a passenger in one of the vehicles, picked up a serious knee injury which ruled him out for around 15 months, leading to Derby deciding to terminate his contract for “gross misconduct” after he refused to accept a pay cut.
The club said it “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”.
He won an appeal at a tribunal with Derby now faced with having to pay their former player £2MILLION.
Sportsmail reported how the centre-back had his appeal vindicated by an employment tribunal, ordering Derby to make a financial settlement to Keogh, as he had 21 months left on his contract with the club worth £1.3m a year when he exited the club.
Keogh unfortunately got cruciate knee ligament damage from the car crash with the player sitting in the back seat of Lawrence’s Range Rover, which collided into the side of Bennett’s Mercedes which lost control and straight into a lamp-post.
His contract was scrapped after Keogh chose not accept Derby’s offer of a substantial reduction, so subsequently left, leaving many fans shocked considering he appeared over 300 times for the club.
Footage also went viral of Mason Bennett being sick in the toilets of a pub hours before his drink-drive car crash…
— Kyle (@Kyledcfc18) September 26, 2019
The Championship strugglers, who have just appointed Wayne Rooney and are hoping to seal a takeover, are looking into making their own appeal against the tribunal’s verdict.
However, the club are stalling with that due to financial problems with Mel Morris, the owner, wanting to complete a proposed takeover by Derventio Holdings.
Everyone connected with Derby County are left fearing that the takeover could collapse with Sheik Khaled bin Zayed Al Nehayan still yet to show proof that he has the funds to do so.
Keogh had his contract torn up by his then-club in October 2019, before then joining League One outfit Milton Keynes Dons in August 2020.
He made 21 appearances for them during the 2020/21 season, before linking up with former club Huddersfield Town in January 2021.
The 34-year-old saw appeals over how he was let go rejected by Derby County and the English Football League before having a much better outcome for him at the employment tribunal.
Many would say it was unfair for Derby to sack Keogh, yet the drivers involved in the car smash, Lawrence and Bennett, only escaped with a six week fine in wages as well as being made to do 80 hours of community service and rehabilitation.
The duo were found guilty of drink-driving at Derby Magistrates’ Court, and were issued with another fine, which included a two year ban from driving and another shift of community service, worth 180 hours.
Keogh joined Huddersfield on a deal until the end of the season, it’s been confirmed.
✅ #htafc have today completed the signing of Richard Keogh from Sky Bet League 1 side Milton Keynes Dons on a contract running until the end of the current season!
— Huddersfield Town (@htafc) January 19, 2021
Huddersfield Town’s Head of Football Operations Leigh Bromby revealed: “It’s fantastic that we have been able to move quickly to complete this deal, and I would like to thank both Richard and Milton Keynes Dons for their cooperation.
“We’ve suffered with an unusually high number of injuries at centre back and Richard’s arrival adds depth to this position for the rest of the season.
“He’s got incredible knowledge of this division and that should be a big help to the likes of Rarmani Edmonds-Green and Romoney Crichlow on the pitch.”
Terriers Head Coach Carlos Corberán said: “Richard is a player with an amazing background and a lot of experience in the Championship. He has regularly played over 4,000 minutes per season at his previous clubs, and you need the combination of his experience alongside our young players to create a competitive team.
“The competitive character he has, and the respect he has for his job, and very important values within our group.
“He is a good defender and he can also help us to play out from the back. His ability to play on the left and right of central defence is something we need in the team too.”
Keogh’s first words on signing for Huddersfield were: “Obviously with the situation in the world at the moment, it’s a shame the fans can’t be there, but I know how passionate they are and the club is probably a bit like me in my career really.
“When I first joined it was striving to be a Championship or Premier League team and for me it was a really good experience, I learned a lot about myself, and our paths have met where we’ve both kicked on and achieved good things in our careers.
“I’m always a big believer in things that happen for a reason and I’m glad to be back and can’t wait to get going.”
Fans reacted after seeing that Derby must pay their sacked former player a total of £2MILLION, find out what was tweeted…
@rayhibs: And rightly so. Disgraceful the way he was treated.
@dcfc53: Captain of club pissed up after club put cars on but got into car and injured himself so he couldn’t honour his contract. Of course derby won’t have to pay out to him
@Yorkie6013: i cant stand him but have to admit im pleased he won.
@ellie9393: They can’t even afford their players wages, bet he’s not holding out much hop
@qprgareth: Now that’s one episode of “can’t pay we’ll take it away”I can’t wait to see
@DaleSpeedyReid: Derby’s new 2 million signing that won’t kick a ball for them lol
@jtweets92: I thought they’d cracked down on the crash for cash scam?
@malc2002: Looks like they might have to find something else to sell
@genesisTimM: He won’t see a penny of it they are skint
@YarwoodAy: How can they they are skint can’t even pay wages lol
@adam7485: Happy for him, they treated him like crap but kept the others on. Wages not being paid for a while lads haha
@dave_ltm: Good luck trying to get a penny of that @RichardKeogh_6
@kevin_1966: If there is any truth in this then justice has partly been served. They hung him out to dry while retaining the services of the Muppets most at fault. Employment law means that if new owners come in, they are still liable for any payment awarded. Shit club and shit morals.
@Gav1981: I wonder if I got sacked from my job for gross misconduct would I get £2m compensation
@forestforever11: Keep the good news coming #dcfc they deserve everything they get. The fact they kept Lawrence who was the driver & pissed out his head because he was young & not injured, but sacked Keogh because he was seriously injured & in his 30s tells you everything about modern day derby.
@MattyPNFFC: Where’s Mel going to borrow this money from?
@lukepd1: Keogh is gonna send us into administration. Love to see it
@DerbyStatistics: Good! No one deserves to be treated how he was, to sack Keogh and not Lawrence or Bennett was outrageous, love Keogh wish he was still here
@Dan_Walls_: Get to the back of the queue, Richard. Players haven’t been paid. Fans haven’t had season ticket refunds. Pitch looks like it’s had cattle grazing on it… might get your payout in 2030. #dcfc
@MauritianMonsta: Savage timing #dcfc #dcfcfans
@RedDogGary: This was always going to come back to haunt them. Sack the 33 year old captain who was injured but not the two saleable assets who were the ones actually drink driving
@OneRamFromDerby: This was always a shocker of a decision at the time by Mel. Two employees guilty of unlawful activity treated better than one not guilty of anything (in law). Completely ill advised #dcfc #dcfcfans
@bigmacca199: What’s Mel going to mortgage to pay for that?
@Jonnyallxn66: I dont know if im happy because its coming out of that cunt mel morris’s pocket, or pissed off because this cunt is getting paid out of his contract. Both wankers.
@VimFuego87: Not a pot to piss in. A fake sheikh with no funds with which to complete a takeover. Players not being paid. A rookie cartoon ogre for a manager. Now this. Keogh Keogh start the bounce
@kevinsnaith84: Stick that on your debt
@SarcasticForest: It’s the best ever soap opera ever, can’t wait to see the next storyline tomorrow already, I’m hooked not gonna lie #nffc
@hutch172: Another great move from our leader Morris. He has made our club an embarrassment. Close the door behind you Morris
@phil_dfc: This is so wrong, captain of the club, knowingly putting other players in danger by his actions and still wins an appeal over his sacking, deserves prison not a pay out