Wayne Rooney has slammed Derby owner Mel Morris as ‘disrespectful’ for being kept in the dark as the club entered administration, claiming he hasn’t spoken to him since early August.
Rooney hit out at Morris in his Thursday press conference, saying he’s had ‘no phone call or message’ from him in six weeks.
When asked what his communication with the Derby owner was like, Rooney said there hadn’t been any, before adding: ‘I just found it a little bit disrespectful, to be honest.’
The Rams officially entered administration earlier this week, triggering an automatic 12-point deduction that sunk them to the bottom of the table.
Derby boss Wayne Rooney (left) has labelled Rams owner Mel Morris (right) as ‘disrespectful’ for keeping him in the dark as the club entered administration earlier this week
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.
The club confirmed the appointment of Andrew Hosking, Carl Jackson and Andrew Andronikou from Quantuma as joint administrators on Wednesday, who later confirmed that Rooney’s job would be safe, despite the desperate need to cut costs.
And while the 12-point deduction is a huge setback, Rooney has revealed that he’s challenged his ‘incredibly committed’ players to ‘make history’.
Rooney added: ‘With 12 points, it is going to be a challenge and I have challenged the players to make history – no-one has done that previously.’
The former Manchester United and England striker also pledged his future to the crisis club, saying he is ready to fight and save the club.
Rooney says he has had ‘no phone call or message’ from Morris (pictured) in over six weeks
‘I am here to fight for this club, I am not prepared to walk away,’ Rooney said. ‘We will get through this, there is no worry the club will go into liquidation.’
Morris was unable to reassure his Derby staff that they would be paid this month, with the club finding themselves in mounting debt.
And Rooney remained coy when asked whether his players would have to take pay deferrals to help the club out.
‘What is important is no decision is rushed through,’ the Derby boss added.
Hosking and Jackson faced the media on Thursday and said they had already held conversations with ‘genuine, credible’ buyers, with the prospect of some of the club’s debts being discounted due to entering administration making them a more attractive purchase than they previously were.
‘A club of this magnitude is such that it does have a viable future moving forward,’ Hosking said.
Derby’s automatic 12-point deduction under EFL rules has put them bottom of the table on -2
Rooney has challenged his players to ‘make history’ following 12-point deduction
‘No one’s underestimating the task ahead of ourselves because clearly, there will need to be some difficult decisions made over the coming week or two in terms of whether we need to consider if there need to be any efficiencies made.
‘But there is a considerable degree of interest in this club. A lot of it was expressed prior to (entering) 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 Pride Park club face the real prospect of further points deductions from the EFL
Hosking said the timescale to find a buyer had been set with a view to allowing the new owner to be in place in time for the January transfer window opening.
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The administrators said they would have to evaluate the need for an agreement over player wage reductions on a month-by-month basis but Hosking said he ‘sincerely hoped’ that would not be the case.
The administrators were confident there was enough cash left to settle September’s wage bill but that they were looking for short-term funding to cover the day-to-day losses that must be incurred to effectively run the club beyond that, even after any redundancies that have to be made.
They met with representatives of the club’s supporters’ trust on Thursday and their message to them was that ‘every little helps’, with Hosking highlighting the difference in revenue an extra 5,000 supporters at Pride Park each week would make.
The club face the prospect of a further points deduction over breaches of the EFL’s financial rules, and Jackson said: ‘We’ve had very positive dialogue with the EFL, they want to see Derby County survive, we want to see Derby County survive, but right here, right now what we can’t say is that there won’t be further points deductions. There is a distinct possibility of further points deductions.’
Derby fans were in good spirits during their win over Stoke despite impending administration
Derby’s descent into administration has been held up as an example of a club which chased the Premier League dream and had fallen short, and Hosking did not disagree that the gap between the top division and the rest would continue to create a risk of financial distress.
‘I was conscious of a comment that was made to me by a Championship chairman some years ago, who said it’s the only league in the world where they play Russian roulette every season because some clubs will make that push for the land of milk and honey,’ he said.
‘The reality is it will happen time and time again, such is the disparity between the funds in the Premier League and the other divisions.’