DERBY have given Richard Keogh two weeks to accept a huge cut in his wages or face the prospect of being sacked.
Keogh is currently facing a year on the sidelines after suffering a serious knee injury in a car crash after a boozy night out with his Rams team-mates.
The club captain needed surgery after the smash when he was a passenger in Tom Lawrence’s Land Rover which hit a lamppost .
And the Telegraph say Derby have issued the 33-year-old with a final ultimatum to agree to taking a huge drop in salary from his current £25,000-a-week deal which runs until the end of next season.
The Championship club made the move after a disciplinary process looking into the events at the end of September which saw Lawrence and Mason Bennett both drink-drive after the night out.
Both players were banned from driving for two years following the smash, which robbed Derby of inspirational defender Keogh until at least this time next year.
The Republic of Ireland international needed surgery after sustaining major damage to the anterior and medial ligaments – and left the Rams facing having to pay his wages while he was sidelined.
It is believed the outcome of the disciplinary process has been the take-it-or-leave it pay cut within 14 days – or the club may take further action which could include sacking him for gross misconduct.
A Derby spokesman said: “The process is ongoing and in order not to prejudice any of that process we will not be making any comment until the conclusion of our investigation.”
Derby were left fuming after the scandal which rocked the club following a team-bonding drink sanctioned by manager Phillip Cocu.
The whole squad had started drinking at the Joiners Arms pub after a game of ten-pin bowling – but Keogh, Bennett and Lawrence stayed at the bar drinking long after their team-mates had gone home.
At the end of the night Lawrence, 25, and Bennett, 23, decided to drive – leading up to the fateful crash on the A6 in Derby.
Keogh rode as a passenger with Lawrence, and it was discovered he was not wearing a seat-belt when the accident happened.
Player contracts are strict on stars getting involved in any activity which could cause them injury, which usually revolve around thrill pursuits.
That gives the clubs protection against losing valuable assets through no fault of their own.