London (AFP) – Derby County manager Wayne Rooney said Saturday he had only found out about the financially-stricken club’s plan to enter administration by watching television news bulletins.
The 35-year-old former Manchester United and England striker, in his first managerial role, also confirmed he had yet to speak with County chairman Mel Morris.
Second-tier English side Derby announced late Friday the club’s directors “had no choice but to make the tough decision” to file notice to appoint administrators following a failure to secure new owners and because of the impact of Covid-19 on their finances.
“I’ve seen it on Sky,” Rooney told Sky Sports ahead of Saturday’s home match with Stoke in the Championship.
“I spoke to (chief financial officer) Stephen Pearce after but initially I saw it on the TV. I have spoken to Stephen, I haven’t spoken with Mel. I am sure he has got other things on his mind.”
The Rams, who headed into the weekend 16th in the table with seven points from their first seven matches, are now set to face a mandatory points deduction under league rules designed to ensure clubs are not disadvantaged by being well-run businesses.
“You could see this morning it was a bit flat because by me not getting all the information, the players had no information and they saw it on Sky as well,” said Rooney.
“I spoke to the players and we have to be professional. We know we are in a difficult position and there will be a points deduction coming our way but we have to do our job.
“Derby is a massive club and I have to get the players playing and make it attractive for potential investors to come into the football club.
“All we can do is play with a lot of pride. My job is to bring some dignity back to the football club,” he added.
Derby are already facing separate points penalties for previous breaches of financial fair play rules.
The Rams avoided relegation from the Championship on the final day of last season after drawing 3-3 at Pride Park against Sheffield Wednesday.
They were then spared a points deduction, which would have sent them down, when the English Football League decided not to appeal against a decision to only fine the club for failing to comply with finance rules.
Derby’s greatest days were in the 1970s when they were twice crowned champions of England by winning the old First Division.