Wayne Rooney has quit as Derby County manager, admitting the club needs someone with “fresh energy” to lead them in what is an uncertain period regarding the ownership.
Derby remain in administration after a prolonged period of uncertainty that has seen the club relegated to Sky Bet League One.
Rooney received plenty of plaudits for the work done with the club in their battle to avoid the drop.
Had it not been for the 12-point deduction for entering administration, which was followed by a nine-point penalty for breaching EFL accounting rules, the Rams would have finished 18th, level with Bristol City on 55 points. Instead, despite the toils of a team filled to the brim with young players, largely with little to no EFL experience, punishments for issues off the pitch proved too much of a stumbling block.
Rooney said: “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.”
Administrators ‘disappointed’ with Rooney’s decision
A spokesperson on behalf of the joint administrators of Derby County Football Club said: “The joint administrators are very disappointed that Wayne has taken the difficult decision to leave the club and we have spent some time today trying to persuade him to stay but understand his reasons for wanting to go.
“We are extremely grateful to him for his excellent work in the face of challenging on-field circumstances in the 2021/22 season and admire the manner in which he has led the team, the club and the local community through various off-field issues.
“The joint administrators recognise that staff and supporters will be frustrated and equally disappointed by this news, but we all wish him, his wife Coleen and their four boys every success in the future and we are sure they will always be welcomed back.
“All parties recognise the need to conclude a sale of the business and assets of the Club, as a matter of urgency and the joint administrators wish to reconfirm that Wayne’s departure will not affect those ongoing, positive discussions.”
Any sign of a Derby takeover?
Derbyshire-based property group Clowes Developments (UK) Ltd will submit a bid to buy Derby after purchasing the company that owned Pride Park Stadium from Mel Morris on Friday.
Derby’s administrators Quantuma confirmed American businessman Chris Kirchner pulled out of his deal to buy the club last week.
However, David Clowes, chairman at Clowes Developments, wants to rescue the club he supports.
“With a deadline looming and the start of the next season getting closer, we needed to do something,” Clowes said.
Clowes will be given until Wednesday next week to complete a deal to buy.
Clowes is independently wealthy and is the owner of a property development company.
He has been a lifelong Derby fan.