Derby County manager Wayne Rooney is likely to depart Pride Park if they end up being relegated from the Championship this summer, according to the Daily Mail.
A statement on Wednesday night detailing the Rams’ punishment, with a £100,000 fine being issued to Derby for their financial misdemeanours, having also been reprimanded and ordered to resubmit some of their accounts.
However, the East Midlands side could also face a more severe punishment, with the EFL announcing they would publish an ‘interchangeable’ fixture list for Derby and Wycombe for the 2021/22 campaign.
Quiz: What was the score the last time Derby County played each of these 25 teams?
This means the Rams could still potentially receive a retrospective points deduction and drop down to the third tier in time for next season, with the governing body keeping the option of an appeal to this initial decision on the table before the disciplinary process concludes.
In a response that will be a cause for optimism for Derby fans, the club disputes the legality of retrospectively docking points after the season comes to an end, a legal issue that could save Rooney’s future at Pride Park as he looks to prepare for the upcoming second-tier campaign.
The Manchester United legend guided the club to Championship survival after a torrid start to last season under Phillip Cocu – and has privately said he’s not willing to manage the East Midlands outfit if relegation is imposed on his side in the summer as per the Mail Online exclusive.
Derby are already in a crisis with their lack of senior players and the current ownership situation. But the bumpy times may not stop there as Rooney considers his future with the Championship side.
Although this summer should have been seen as a fresh start for Derby after enduring a tough last year, the ownership situation and their finances meant it was never going to work out that way and their behaviour with finances may end up putting them in more hot water.
Rooney is probably fed up with the uncertainty around the club already – and their relegation could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. You could say it isn’t exactly a straw because relegation would have such a huge effect but it has not been an easy time for Rooney since taking over.
In the end, he may find it easier to walk away regardless of what league they are in and wait for another job offer to come along, whatever capacity that may be in. However, for the sake of Derby fans, let’s hope this disruption can come to a close very shortly and the manager is able to make a few much-needed signings.