Derby County: Wayne Rooney vows to stay despite club going into administration

Derby County: Wayne Rooney vows to stay despite club going into administration

Derby County is Wayne Rooney’s first job in football managementDerby County administrators believe the Championship club has a 95% chance of survival, with six potential buyers having already declared an interest.

Business advisory firm Quantuma took over the club on Wednesday, triggering an automatic 12-point deduction.

“I do not consider at all that this could be a liquidation scenario,” said joint administrator Andrew Hosking.

Rams boss Wayne Rooney has reiterated he will not walk away from the club despite the current situation.

Listen to BBC Radio Derby Sportscene special on Derby’s administration by clicking here.Asked whether he would have taken the job if he had known about the financial problems, Rooney said: “I doubt it.”

But he added: “I will fight for the club. I wouldn’t leave the staff in the lurch. They need someone to lead them.”

Rooney only found out about the club going into administration from television reports and said it was “disrespectful” that owner Mel Morris had not informed him personally.

“I’ve not spoken to Mel since 9 August,” the 35-year-old former Everton, Manchester United and England forward said.

“I actually phoned him once off the (club) doctors’ phone. He answered the phone. Obviously he answered calls from the club doctor, but not the manager for whatever reason.

“It is unfortunate that is the way it was but that is how it got handled. Thankfully now, I won’t have the worry of having to get in touch with him.”

Derby officially enter administrationQ&A: The debt, the mess, the future Wycombe consider legal action over DerbyDerby are now nine points from safety in the Championship – table correct as of 24 September 2021Administrators hopeful over Rams’ futureQuantuma managing directors Hosking, Carl Jackson and Andrew Andronikou are now looking for short-term funding to help see the club through the next three months.

Derby, who are away to Sheffield United on Saturday, have “tens of millions of pounds” of debts, they confirmed.

But Hosking said: “My view is that there is going to be a 95% probability this will be resolved and resolved certainly in the coming months.”

Two of the six potential buyers are “substantial entities” who were previously in touch with Morris, who had been looking to sell the club since 2019, with four new interested parties.

The six are understood to include former Derby County owner Andy Appleby and chief executive Sam Rush, who are both part of the 366 Group.external-link

Appleby sold his stake to Morris in 2015, while Rush was sacked two years later for what the club described as ‘gross misconduct’ – he denied doing anything wrong and a settlement was reached in October 2018.

Although there will be a need for some redundancies, the administrators say it will not affect the position of Rooney or the first-team squad.

“We need a manager to motivate the team. That has not come into our consideration at all,” added Hosking.

‘Positive dialogue with EFL’Derby are still waiting to see if they breached spending rules between 2016 and 2018The club filed a notice to appoint administrators last Friday, which Morris, who said he had invested and lost “in excess of £200m”, described as a “gut-wrenching” decision.

The 12-point deduction by the English Football League has left the Rams at the foot of the Championship on minus two points, currently nine adrift of safety, and they could be docked a possible nine more in relation to charges over their accounting practices.

“We have a positive dialogue with the EFL,” Jackson, another of the joint administrators, confirmed. “They want to see Derby County survive. We will argue our position but there is a distinct possibility there will be further deductions.”

Rooney has been helping the club financially, buying equipment to film training sessions among other things, and he believes the team can stay up if they are not hit by further points deductions.

But he dismissed a suggestion he could invest in the club, saying: “I’m not that stupid. We won’t be short of buyers for this club.”

He added: “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.”

‘Mum’s situation shows value of honesty’Rooney was put in charge following the departure of Phillip Cocu in November 2020 and confirmed as permanent manager two months later.

And his approach to Derby’s problems has been in part motivated by a family situation.

“My mum is still working as a dinner lady at the school I went to. There are discussions about whether that school gets closed down, so my mum is in the same position as some of the staff are here,” he said.

“I know how life works. I know the struggles people have with their bills and their mortgages and to put food on the table. I have gone through that at first hand as a child.

“The best way to handle that is to be open and honest with people because if you are not, people see right through it. That transparency of communication and honesty, it does mean a lot.”

‘Integrity of competition is paramount’EFL chief executive Trevor Birch told BBC Sport that it was “incredibly sad” to see Derby – one of the league’s founder members – in such a position.

He confirmed discussions would continue with the administrators about the possibility of a further points deduction and said: “The last thing we want is to lose a club from the competition. At the same time, we have to apply regulations because the integrity of the competition is paramount.”

Birch said he had “respect and sympathy” for Morris “in the sense that he has put £200m of his own funds into the club”.

He added: “What is important is to understand why Mel felt he had to inject that kind of funding and to run the kind of model he has done.

“That revolves around the irrational behaviour that the presence of parachute clubs from the Premier League have in the Championship and the distorting effect of the funds they receive on the competition.”

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