Former England star Wayne Rooney resigns as Derby County Manager

20 Jul 2022 | 08:19 | Football

Former Manchester United and England star Wayne Rooney resigned as manager of troubled Derby as the club prepared for their first season in the third division in 36 years. Rooney was unable to keep Derby in the title last season after the crisis-ridden club suffered a 21-point penalty as punishment for financial problems. In his first managerial role, Rooney has impressed as he kept Derby competitive to avoid relegation in the final weeks of the season. That brave effort has shown the 36-year-old can lead Derby to promotion from League One next season.

But with Derby remaining at the helm throughout a nearly turbulent season, Rooney has decided to leave the Rams with a new campaign commencing on July 30.

“Wayne Rooney has today informed Derby County Football Club that he wishes to be relieved of his duties as first-team manager with immediate effect,” a club statement said.

Rooney, Manchester United and England’s all-time leading scorer, leads Derby in 2020 and has one year to expire.

The former England captain was linked with an emotional return to Everton as manager last season after receiving rave reviews for his work at Derby.

“Throughout the summer, I have been closely following developments regarding Derby County ownership,” he said.

“Today, I met with the managers to inform them of my decision that it was time for me to leave the club. To be fair, they tried very hard to change my mind but I still decide.

“My time at the club has been a roller coaster of emotions, both highs and lows, but I must say I enjoyed the challenge.”

Concerns about Derby’s future grew last week when American businessman Chris Kirchner withdrew an offer to buy the club.

But the sale of Pride Park to a local property developer David Clowes, who hopes to complete the takeover, has allayed fears that the club could go bust.

Regardless of the potential for new ownership, Rooney feels Derby will benefit from the new energy of a manager undiminished by the relentless negativity surrounding the club.

“Personally I feel the club now needs to be led by someone who has fresh energy and is unaffected by the events of the past 18 months,” he said.

“I will remember my time at Derby with great pride and affection and would like to thank all the staff, the 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.”

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