Rooney pledges to stay with troubled Derby

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Wayne Rooney has vowed to stay with troubled Derby (AFP/ALEKSANDRA SZMIGIEL)
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Wayne Rooney has vowed to stay with troubled Derby County after the Championship club were hit with a 12-point penalty for going into administration.

Derby boss Rooney faces a gruelling battle to keep his team in the English second tier following the points deduction that left them rooted to the bottom of the table.

The former Manchester United and England star admitted he "doubts" he would have taken charge of the Rams last season if he had known the extent of their financial problems.

But Rooney, in his first managerial role after a glittering playing career, is adamant he will stick with Derby now they are in dire straits.

"I will fight for the club. I wouldn't leave the staff in the lurch. They need someone to lead them," he said on Thursday.

Derby, twice English champions, announced on Wednesday they had appointed three managing directors of business advisory firm Quantuma as joint administrators.

Rooney said on Saturday he had only found out about the club's plan to go into administration from watching television news.

Criticising owner Mel Morris for the way he has handled the situation, Rooney said: "In my opinion, it wasn't sincere enough, it wasn't heartfelt enough, and it wasn't done with enough honesty.

"I personally haven't spoken to Mel Morris since August 9. I still haven't had a one-on-one conversation, no phone call, no text message. Nothing.

"I find it a bit disrespectful, to be honest. Communication is so important, whether it's good news or bad news, so we can deal with it."

Rooney first took the Derby job on a temporary basis following Phillip Cocu's exit in November 2020 and was hired as permanent manager two months later.

The 35-year-old saved Derby from relegation to League One on the final day of last season.

The Midlands club, who last played in the Premier League in 2008, have won two of their eight league games this season after being subject to a transfer embargo.

Morris said the club had missed out on £20 million ($27 million) in lost revenue as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and the administrators confirmed Derby's debts run into "the tens of millions of pounds".

Derby could be docked further points in relation to breaches of English Football League's financial rules.

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