‘I fell off it a couple of times. It’s not the widest and I rolled over!’ Wayne Rooney opens up on sleeping on the SOFA at his office to get deals done and why he will NEVER walk out on Derby amid administration plight
- Derby County have been run by administrators Quantuma since September 22
- The Rams are dealing with a 12-point reduction which could increase to 21
- Wayne Rooney’s side face a survival battle as they sit bottom of the table
- But the Derby boss has insisted he will not walk out on the crisis-stricken club
Derby County are mired in administration and sit bottom of the Championship but Wayne Rooney has sacrificed nights on the sofa and money out of his own pocket and doesn’t intend to walk away any time soon.
Rooney is cutting his teeth in management with Derby County and his start to life in the dug-out hasn’t been the smoothest.
The Rams are gripped by crisis and gloom and Rooney has not been able buy a player since succeeding Phillip Cocu with Derby bottom of the league in November.
But the Derby boss was not fazed as he worked round the clock, even sleeping on a sofa in his office, to raid the free agent market, signing six in August including Ravel Morrison and veterans Phil Jagielka and Curtis Davies.
Wayne Rooney has insisted he will not walk out on Derby County amid administration woes
‘I fell off it a couple of times. It’s not the widest and I rolled over,’ he said, speaking to The Times.
‘I slept here two or three nights. One where I was trying to get Ravel in and there were snags. I wanted to make sure I was here — whether it was midnight or one in the morning — to get it done. But it’s much better being here and speaking to people face to face.’
Sleepless nights aren’t all Rooney has sacrificed to his cause to keep Derby afloat. The manager even forked out for a drone used in training, among other things.
The Rams boss worked round the clock, even sleeping on a sofa in his office to sign players
After Derby’s debts topped £50million, the club entered administration which saw them docked 12 points, leaving them rock-bottom of the Championship.
The deficit could worsen as a further nine-point penalty hangs over the in-crisis club for breaches by the former owner, Mel Morris, of profit and sustainability rules, leaving Rooney hamstrung in his hopes of taking the club up the table.
But despite the uncertainty swirling Pride Park, the boss remains confident about their chances of surviving relegation this season.
Derby are currently bottom of the league, but without the penalty they would be mid-table
‘Football is about having targets,’ Rooney said.
‘As soon as it went to 12 points, I said, “We’ll stay up.” If it becomes [a deduction of] 21 points, it’ll be more difficult but there’s a realistic chance we can overturn the 12 points by Christmas and if we’ve done that, then [if] another nine points [get docked], I’d be confident we could stay up.
‘If that was the case, for them lads staying up with 21 points — imagine that on the CV.’
A spirited fighter, Rooney is attempting to turn the penalty into a challenge for his players, telling them it is a chance to make history.
The administrators at Derby County have lodged an appeal over a 12-point deduction
Assistant manager Liam Rosenior has even pinned two tables on the training-ground walls, indicating where they currently are and where they would be without the penalty – 15th.
Despite reports that the former Manchester United star would be interested in replacing Steve Bruce at St James’ Park following Newcastle’s Saudi-takeover, the Rams boss has insisted he is not turning his back on Pride Park.
‘There’s no chance of me walking away. The one thing I’m doing here is asking others to give everything and have trust in me, so I can’t just walk off and say to the players and staff, “Right, see you later, all the best”.’
Rooney was rumoured to be interested in the Newcastle job following Steve Bruce’s (left) exit