Former Manchester United and Everton player Wayne Rooney, who is currently the head coach of Sky Bet Championship side Derby County, have said he is not giving up on the club just yet. The former England captain reiterated he would not walk away despite the Championship club being placed in administration.
Business adviser firm Quantuma took over the club on Wednesday, triggering an automatic 12-point deduction from the club in the league. He was asked whether he would have taken the job if he had known about the financial problems, and the player said he doubted if he would take it.
Wayne Rooney Says He will Fight with Derby County
But according to Rooney, he stated that he would fight for the club. Rooney said: “I wouldn’t leave the staff in the lurch. They need someone to lead them.” The 35-year-old was put in charge following the departure of Phillip Cocu in November 2020 and confirmed as permanent manager two months after.
The Rams secured their Championship status on the final day of last season and have won two games losing two of the game and drawn four out of eight league games so far in 2021-22. He was subject to a transfer embargo which meant he was only able to recruit free agents.
Rooney only found out about the club going into administration from television reports and said it was “disrespectful” that the owner of the club, Mel Morris, was supposed to have informed him personally. The former Everton and United player said: “I’ve not spoken to Mel since 9 August.” “He addressed the players on Tuesday. I was in that (meeting) but nothing else. No phone call or message.”
Rooney also said: “Mel doesn’t have to apologise to me, but as manager, getting questions from players and staff and not being able to answer, I was a bit hurt by that. There is a way of handling things and being open and honest that didn’t happen, which is disappointing.”
Rooney aldo said: “I am committed to this football club. I grew up on a council estate in Liverpool, and I know how tough life can be.” “I care about the players and the staff. What kind of person would I be if I walked away and put my feet up or went on holiday for a few weeks?”
The 12-point deduction by the English Football League has left Derby County at the bottom of the league table on minus two points, currently nine adrift of safety. They could also be docked a possible nine more points in relation to charges over their accounting practices.
Speaking on the deduction, Rooney said if the deduction stays at 12 points, he feels they can still bounce back. Although no team has ever done that before, he believes it is a challenge for both him and the players to make history. He also said if the points then go to 21 points, it will be very difficult, and it’s likely they will drop to League One next season.
Quantuma managing directors Andrew Hosking, Carl Jackson and Andrew Andronikou are now in charge of the club and are looking for short-term funding to help see it through the next three months. Derby County is away to Sheffield United on Saturday but has “tens of millions of pounds” of debts.
Hosking said: “There is a considerable degree of interest in this club. We don’t consider the obstacles that we face at this stage insurmountable.” Although there will be a need for some redundancies, the administrators say it will not affect the position of the head coach of the club or the first-team players.
The club filed a notice to appoint administrators last Friday, which owner Mel Morris described as a “gut-wrenching” decision. Mel has been in charge of the club since 2015 but had been looking to sell it since 2019, having invested and lost “in excess of £200m”.
One of the joint administrators, Jackson, said they had a positive dialogue with the EFL and they want to see Derby County survive. He also said they would argue our position, but there is a distinct possibility there will be further deductions.
Jackson made it clear, saying: “There are no guarantees, but we are confident we (Derby) will fulfil the fixture list (this season).” “There is a very real opportunity to save this football club and find a credible third party to take this club back to where it was before.”
Rooney has been helping the club financially, buying equipment to film training sessions, among other things. But he did not buy the idea of him investing in the club. He said: “I’m not that stupid. We won’t be short of buyers for this club.”
Rooney also said: “I am really confident we will get through this and for the better. Sometimes in life, you have to take a backward step to move forward.”