Wayne Rooney RESIGNS as Derby County manager after 18 months in charge – as he calls for ‘someone with fresh energy’ to takeover cash-strapped League One club who remain in administration

  • Wayne Rooney has left his position as the manager of League One side Derby
  • Rooney says club tried ‘tremendously hard’ to try and persuade him to stay
  • Derby’s long-term future remains uncertain amid their financial struggles
  • Rooney received much praise last season despite Derby suffering relegation
  • Derby say they are ‘disappointed’ but understand Rooney’s reasons for leaving 

Wayne Rooney has quit crisis-torn Derby, even though they are finally on the brink of exiting administration.

England’s record goalscorer departed just three days before the Rams were due to report for pre-season training, with local property group Clowes Developments submitting a bid for the club last night, after buying Pride Park from former owner Mel Morris. Rooney had one year left of a lucrative contract.

As reported by Sportsmail on June 13, the future of Rooney — who had been in permanent charge since January 2021 — was in huge doubt when US businessman Chris Kirchner failed to complete his proposed takeover.

Wayne Rooney has stepped down from his position as the manager of Derby County 

Derby were relegated from the Championship last season amid their financial struggles

Derby were relegated from the Championship last season amid their financial struggles

Defender Curtis Davies called it ‘another bombshell in the life of Derby County’ and backed Rooney’s No 2, Liam Rosenior, for the job.

Rooney informed administrators Quantuma last night and would not be swayed, even though he said they tried ‘tremendously hard’ to dissuade him.

He added: ‘My time at the club has been a rollercoaster of emotions, both highs and lows, but I have to say I have enjoyed the challenge.

‘Personally, I feel the club now needs to be led by someone with fresh energy and not affected by the events that have happened over the last 18 months.

There remains uncertainty over Derby's long-term future with the club still in administration

There remains uncertainty over Derby’s long-term future with the club still in administration

‘I will remember my time at Derby with great pride and affection and would like to thank all my staff, players and, of course, the fans for their incredible support. I will never forget you and hope to see you all again in the near future and in happier times.

‘Finally, I am aware the club still have interested parties who wish to take over its running. To them I say this — Derby County is a great club with a great history and great fans. I wish you all the best and much success for the future.’

Along with Clowes, a group led by former Rams chairman Andy Appleby has also submitted an offer for the club, and former Newcastle owner Mike Ashley has been interested throughout.

Having previously been a player at the club, Rooney took charge of Derby in November 2020  before getting the job permanently in January 2021

Having previously been a player at the club, Rooney took charge of Derby in November 2020  before getting the job permanently in January 2021

WAYNE ROONEY STATEMENT  

‘Over the course of the Summer I have been closely following developments regarding the ownership of Derby County.

‘Today I met with the administrators to inform them of my decision that it was time for me to leave the club. In fairness to them, they tried tremendously hard to change my decision but my mind was made up.

‘My time at the club has been a rollercoaster of emotions, both highs and lows, but I have to say that I have enjoyed the challenge.

‘Personally, I feel the club now needs to be led by someone with fresh energy and not affected by the events that have happened over the last eighteen months. I will remember my time at Derby with great pride and affection and would like to thank all my staff, players and of course the fans for their incredible support. I will never forget you and hope to see you all again in the near future and in happier times.

‘Finally, I am aware that the club still have interested parties who wish to take over the running of the club. To them I say this, Derby County is a great club with a great history and great fans. I wish you all the best and much success for the future.’

But Clowes now appear to be in pole position. One of the new owners’ first jobs will be to appoint a manager.

Rosenior will lead training on Monday, with only five first-team players under contract. With his impressive coaching and tactical brain, he may be viewed by new owners as a sensible option given his knowledge of the club.

When Kirchner was given preferred bidder status in April, the future of Rooney — who endorsed the American — looked secure.

Mike Ashley (L) has been tipped for a takeover of Derby but local businessman David Clowes has now announced his intention to purchase the club

Mike Ashley (L) has been tipped for a takeover of Derby but local businessman David Clowes has now announced his intention to purchase the club

But when Kirchner disappeared from the scene, it is thought Rooney was disappointed and it appeared only a matter of time before he left.

A statement from Quantuma read: ‘The joint administrators are very disappointed Wayne has taken the difficult decision to leave and we have spent some time trying to persuade him to stay but understand his reasons for wanting to go.’

A Clowes representative added: ‘We thank Wayne Rooney for the time he served Derby County.’

Chris Kirchner emerged as a preferred bidder for Derby but was unable to confirm funds

Chris Kirchner emerged as a preferred bidder for Derby but was unable to confirm funds

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