Inside Rooney’s Derby where he pays for away days out of his own pocket

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Wayne Rooney is more used to working out on a punchbag than being treated like one.

As the blows rain in on Derby County, Rooney must be wondering just what he’s done to deserve this.

But, if any good comes of it, then the Manchester United and England legend’s stock just gets higher and higher.

If anyone had been daft enough to treat Rooney like this outside the protection of employment and civil law, he’d quite likely have flattened them.

But it’s Rooney's dogged loyalty, sense of duty and fierce stick up for the underdog spirit that is gaining him many admirers.

He’s had to put up with administration, finding out that was happening via TV, salary delays and now the possibility of a further nine point deduction to the 12 Derby have already been belted with.

Astonishingly to some, Rooney is still there and he’s still fighting Derby’s corner and still fighting for the members of staff who could lose their jobs.

Would you expect any less from a kid from a council estate in Liverpool? Well no, except for the fact that he’s now a multi-millionaire who could easily afford to walk away and just let them get on with it.

So, as his Three Lions mates Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard land jobs a little further up the ladder, just how good is Rooney and could he tread a similar path?

Lampard’s romantic return to Chelsea quickly turned sour and now his other England mate Steven Gerrard dips his toes into the water of Premier League management. Where will Rooney’s career take him?

Will Wayne Rooney manage in the Premier League? Comment below

With over 300 England caps between them, all three are well-versed in what it takes to cut it in the top flight as a player, but is that enough? Could Rooney cut it?

It must be said the jury is out but without stating the obvious, his actual pay back from what’s happened out on the pitch since he took the job at Derby has been seriously warped.

They currently sit bottom with a measly six points from 17 games but the ‘real’ total is actually 18 which would put them six points clear of the relegation places.

It’s been difficult to gauge things through the fog of distractions off the pitch. But Rooney’s light has shone through.

He’s paid for almost all of the clubs away travel expenses out of his own pocket and you get the impression that he wouldn’t forgive himself if he took the easy option and walked away.

At a meeting with the supporters' trust that he attended recently he was asked if he would have taken the job if he’d known what was around the corner.

Bluntly honest, Rooney admitted: “I doubt it. But I’m not prepared to walk away from it.”

But perhaps Rooney’s most revealing observation came when asked how hard it would be to walk past staff who were worried about losing their jobs.

Rooney volleyed back the perfect answer – and there was a real sense that he absolutely meant it. “You don’t walk past them. You speak to them.

“I grew up on a council estate in Liverpool. I know how tough life can be. What kind of person would I be if I walked away and put my feet up.”

Whether Rooney goes on to become a Premier League manager like Gerrard and Lampard remains to be seen, but he’s shown himself to be a Premier Division man whatever.

  • Frank Lampard
  • Steven Gerrard
  • Wayne Rooney
  • Premier League
  • Manchester United FC
  • Derby County FC
  • Everton FC

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