Derby captain Richard Keogh 'to appeal contract termination' after 'turning down wage decrease'

Richard Keogh has been sacked from Derby County for ‘gross misconduct’ after his involvement in the drink-drive incident which marred the club.

The captain, who had been with the Championship club since 2012, was left with season-ending injuries after team-mates Tom Lawrence and Mason Bennett crashed their cars following a team-bonding night out at the Joiners Arms in Derby on September 24.

The 33-year-old, who was a passenger in one of the cars, was reportedly offered reduced wages to stay at the club but the Republic of Ireland defender rejected those terms.

READ MORE: Derby duo Tom Lawrence and Mason Bennett plead guilty to drink-driving

READ MORE: Lawrence and Bennett avoid jail after drink-drive incident

Keogh saw his contract terminated for 'gross misconduct'. (Photo by Alex Dodd - CameraSport via Getty Images)
Keogh appearing in support of his Derby teammates, a month on from the crash, at the club's home game against Wigan on Oct 23 (PA)

He was subsequently sacked by the Rams, who terminated his contract with immediate effect - and Keogh reportedly will appeal the decision, according to The Athletic.

"Derby County Football Club has completed the disciplinary hearing regarding Richard Keogh in respect of his involvement in the events of Tuesday, September 24th,” a club statement read. "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.

"The club will be making no further comment at this time regards this matter, until the conclusion of any potential appeal."

Lawrence (centre left) and Bennett (centre right) both pleaded guilty to their respective charges after the crash.
The crash in the Allestree area of Derby, where Tom Lawrence and Mason Bennett of Derby County were arrested. (SWNS)

Keogh had 18 months left to run on his existing deal, said to be worth £25,000 per week, before the crash which could see him ruled out of action until December 2020 and could cut his playing career short.

The stalwart defender made 316 league appearances for the club as well as taking part in four failed play-off campaigns.

He earned cult hero status at the club as a centre back, winning the Player of the Year award twice as well as being named in the 2014-15 PFA Championship Team of the Year.

Lawrence and Bennett both avoided jail after pleading guilty to the charges of drink-driving and failing to stop at the scene of an accident.

They were both banned from driving for two years and ordered to complete 180 hours of unpaid work, while Derby charged the duo a maximum fine of six weeks’ wages as well as 80 hours of community service and rehabilitation.

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