Derby County’s administrators tell Wayne Rooney they WON’T sack him to save his wages – but are now hunting for new investment to pay the club’s players and staff
- Derby County entered administration this week amid serious financial issues
- Club was automatically deducted 12 points to sink to bottom of Championship
- Club’s administrators are confident new owners for the club can be found soon
- Manager Wayne Rooney’s job is save despite the need to cut costs
- There is confident that Derby will be able to fulfil all of this season’s fixtures
Derby County’s administrators insist Wayne Rooney’s job is not under threat as they look to cut costs and there is already genuine interest in buying the stricken Championship club.
The Rams officially entered administration earlier this week, triggering an automatic 12-point deduction that sunk them to the bottom of the table.
Owner Mel Morris said the club lost £20million in lost revenue as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and the administrators confirmed Derby’s debts run into ‘the tens of millions of pounds’ without disclosing the exact figure.
Derby County’s administrators say manager Wayne Rooney’s job is not immediately in danger as they look to cut costs at the Championship club
Derby celebrate last weekend’s win over Stoke before the club went into administration
However, manager Rooney or anyone in the first-team squad will not be removed as a short-term cash-saving measure, with ‘positive conversations’ already held with the former England captain over taking the club forward.
Speaking to the media on Friday, Andrew Hosking and Carl Jackson from business advisory firm Quantuma, said they have every confidence Derby will fulfil all their fixtures this season.
However, they did not completely rule out a round of player sales in the January window to raise cash if a new owner can’t be found in the next three months.
On the prospect of jettisoning Rooney, Hosking said: ‘That has not come into our considerations at all, we need a manager to motivate the team.’
Jackson added: ‘We have held very positive conversations with Wayne and one or two other members of the squad.’
Derby’s automatic 12-point deduction under EFL rules has put them bottom of the table on -2
Owner Mel Morris has tried to find a new buyer of the club amid the club’s deepening crisis
They confirmed short-term borrowing will be necessary to cover Derby’s day-to-day costs in the coming months and staff redundancies look likely.
Although Derby, who face the prospect of further points deductions, are highly likely to be in League One next season, there has been immediate interest in buying them.
Hosking said: ‘There is a considerable degree of interest in this club. A lot of it was expressed prior to administration.
‘Now that the club is in administration, notwithstanding the points deduction and clearly the distress to the supporters, the staff and suppliers to the club, we do consider that the position to be able to make a successful conclusion to the story is now really very, very practical.
‘We don’t consider the obstacles that we face at this stage insurmountable.’
The Rams play their first Championship match since entering administration when they head to Sheffield United on Saturday.
The Pride Park club face the real prospect of further points deductions from the EFL
They still face the threat of an additional points deduction as a penalty from the EFL relating to irregularities in the club’s accounts. Sportsmail revealed last week that this is expected to be nine points.
More points could be docked if they fail to pay wages on time.
Morris addressed all staff in person at Pride Park on Monday and at their Moor Farm training ground on Tuesday. Manager Wayne Rooney and the players attended the second meeting.
Sportsmail understands Morris was asked specifically about salaries and was unable to reassure staff they would be paid on time. They were told, however, that it would be top priority for the administrators.
In a statement last week, the Rams blamed the latest setback on the consequences of the pandemic and the ongoing EFL inquiry into their accounts, which had deterred a takeover in January 2020.
Derby fans were in good spirits during their win over Stoke despite impending administration
‘Revenues and cash flow took a circa £20million hit,’ said the statement.
‘Unlike other sectors, football has been able to only marginally reduce its cost base with the majority of outgoings being associated with playing staff who obviously could not be furloughed.
‘The Covid-19 lockdown also meant that we were unable to have face-to-face meetings with a number of potential purchasers who could not visit the stadium or training ground.
‘A planned sale of the club and stadium that was due to close in January 2020 collapsed when the EFL was coerced into challenging the Stadium Sale transaction, a charge that would be dismissed some nine months later.’
Derby also claimed the ongoing investigation prevented them from drawing £8.3m in financial aid made available to all other Championship clubs to settle PAYE liabilities.
It was reported on Tuesday that any prospective owner of Derby must plough more than £50million into the club just to clear their debts before spending a penny on the playing team.
The Athletic reported that Derby’s football creditors must be paid up to £10m, while an American private equity firm is owed a secured debt of £20m. The club also faces a tax bill of close to £30m.
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