Wayne Rooney has failed in his bid to keep Derby County in the second tier of English football as they have been officially relegated to English football’s third tier.
The Championship club have faced many trials off the pitch this season but Rooney’s management of the club has managed to keep them afloat on and off the pitch.
However, following an off-pitch matter which led to the club losing 21 points to English football league management sanctions in November, Rooney and Derby County will now be competing to come back to the Championship next season.
The Rams lost 1-0 to Queens Park Rangers and would have been given another chance to fight for their spot in the English Championship next season if Swansea City had beaten fellow relegation strugglers Reading FC. The Swans capitulated and allowed Reading stage a stunning comeback to earn a 4-4 draw in their own game on Monday afternoon.
An 88th-minute goal from QPR man Luke Amos goal and an injury-time dismissal for Derby man Tom Lawrence ended Rooney’s hopes of pulling a Leeds United next season and taking Derby back to the Premier League.
Derby are currently 23rd on the Championship table with 31 points. Had points not been deducted from the club, Rooney’s side would have been sitting in 17th place with 52 points, safely within the Championship.
Rooney, who retired from active football last season at the club to take over as manager in the middle of the season, has struggled in his first full season. After helping them escape relaxation last season, he was thrown into a club in a serious financial mess which led to their points deduction.
The club were only set to lose 12 points – which would still have thrown them into a relegation battle – but had an extra nine removed after more investigations of financial mismanagement were concluded.
The club went into administration in September 2021 after their former owner Mel Morris was forced to relinquish ownership of the club due to bad financial practices.
Morris breached several English Football League profitability and sustainability rules by selling the club’s stadium, Pride Park, to one of his companies for £81 million before immediately leasing it back to the club, who have paid rent on the stadium ever since.
The club had managed to steer clear of any sanctions when the case first got to the English football authorities in 2020, until further investigations in which Morris admitted to breaking these rules happened in 2021.
There were also issues surrounding player amortisation in Morris’ time as owner, which led to the club’s finances becoming a mess.
The EFL charged the club with finding a new owner in a given period but the state of the club was such that it could not find a willing investor before the time elapsed, leading to the points deduction which has now sent Derby down to League One.