Former Manchester United and England player Wayne Rooney resign as Manager of Derby County, who are preparing for their first season in the third division in 36 years.
Rooney failed to keep Derby in the Championship last season after the financially troubled team received a 21-point penalty. Rooney did a commendable job of keeping Derby in the running to escape relegation until the season’s closing weeks in his maiden management position.
The 36-year-heroic old’s achievement had given hope that Derby may be promoted from League One the following year.
Rooney has decided to leave the Rams with the new season beginning on July 30, but Derby has remained under administration during a contentious close season.
Wayne Rooney notified Derby County Football Club today that he wanted to step down as first-team manager, the club announced in a statement.
Rooney, the all-time greatest scorer for Manchester United and England, takes over at Derby in 2020, with one year remaining on his contract.
After receiving high accolades for his efforts at Derby, the former England captain was linked with an emotional return to Everton as manager last season.
“I have been attentively monitoring events around the ownership of Derby County during the course of the summer,” he remarked.
“I visited with the club’s officials today to let them know I had decided it was time to depart the club. To be fair to them, they made a valiant effort to influence my choice, but I had already made up my mind.
I must admit that the task has been enjoyable despite the emotional rollercoaster that has characterized my time at the club.
When American entrepreneur Chris Kirchner dropped his bid to purchase Derby last week, worries over the club’s future grew.
However, worries that the club would go bankrupt have been allayed by the sale of Pride Park to a local real estate entrepreneur named David Clowes, who intends to complete a takeover.
Rooney believed Derby would benefit from the fresh enthusiasm of a manager not depleted by the constant criticism surrounding the club, regardless of the possibility of new ownership.
I believe the club needs to be headed by someone with new life and enthusiasm unaffected by the events of the last 18 months, he stated.
“I want to thank all my staff, players, and of course, the supporters for their unwavering support throughout my time at Derby. I will always remember it with great pride and fondness.
“I won’t ever forget you, and I hope to see you all soon and in better circumstances.”