Man Utd legend Wayne Rooney gives statement after resigning from Derby County

Manchester United and England legend Wayne Rooney has resigned as manager of Derby County.

The former striker, who spent two seasons in charge of Derby, says the club need someone with ‘fresh energy’ to lead them during this uncertain time.

Derby remain in administration after a prolonged period of uncertainty that contributed to their relegation to League One last season.

Rooney’s side finished 23rd in the Championship – seven points from safety – having been handed a 12-point deduction for entering administration and a nine-point penalty for breaching EFL accounting rules.

Had it not been for the deductions, Derby would have finished 18th.

Explaining his decision to leave Derby, Rooney said in a statement: ‘Over the course of the Summer I have been closely following developments regarding the ownership of Derby County.

‘Today I met with the administrators to inform them of my decision that it was time for me to leave the club. In fairness to them, they tried tremendously hard to change my decision but my mind was made up.

‘My time at the club has been a rollercoaster of emotions, both highs and lows, but I have to say that I have enjoyed the challenge.

‘Personally, I feel the club now needs to be led by someone with fresh energy and not affected by the events that have happened over the last eighteen months.

‘I will remember my time at Derby with great pride and affection and would like to thank all my staff, players and of course the fans for their incredible support.

‘I will never forget you and hope to see you all again in the near future and in happier times.

‘Finally, I am aware that the club still have interested parties who wish to take over the running of the club.

‘To them I say this: Derby County is a great club with a great history and great fans. I wish you all the best and much success for the future.’

Rooney, 36, established himself as one of England and Manchester United’s greatest ever players during his playing career, becoming the record goalscorer for both teams.

During his 13-year spell at Old Trafford, Rooney won five Premier League titles and the Champions League.

A spokesperson on behalf of the joint administrators of Derby County Football Club said: ‘We are very disappointed that Wayne has taken the difficult decision to leave the club and we have spent some time today trying to persuade him to stay but understand his reasons for wanting to go.

‘We are extremely grateful to him for his excellent work in the face of challenging on-field circumstances in the 2021/22 season and admire the manner in which he has led the team, the club and the local community through various off-field issues.

‘All parties recognise the need to conclude a sale of the business and assets of the Club, as a matter of urgency and the joint administrators wish to reconfirm that Wayne’s departure will not affect those ongoing, positive discussions.’

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