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Derby thank Wayne Rooney as players agree 'substantial' wage deferrals

The Championship club say the deferrals are ‘considerably’ more than the 25% that had been reported.

Rooney in January.
Rooney in January.
Image: Bradley Collyer

DERBY COUNTY MOVED to thank captain Wayne Rooney for playing a leading role he played in the club agreeing a wage deferral with players to help the Championship club during the coronavirus crisis.

Manager Phillip Cocu, his coaching staff, executives and non-playing staff have also deferred part of their salary. It had been reported that players would face a 25% reduction, but the club suggests that is an underestimation.

“First team players have voluntarily agreed a substantial deferral that is considerably more than has been reported in the media, while Phillip Cocu and his coaching team, and Chief Executive Officer Stephen Pearce and his staff have also agreed significant deferrals,” Derby said in a statement.

“Talks across the club have been held in the spirit of unity and co-operation, and everyone has been fully committed to help and play their part.

“The club would specifically like to thank Wayne Rooney, the team captain, and Curtis Davies, the Professional Footballers Association’s club representative, for their help and support.”

In a column in the Sunday Times early this month, Rooney said it was ‘a disgrace’ that footballers were being pressured to contribute to government coffers, suggesting health secretary Matt Hancock was diverting attention away from the Downing Street’s handling of the pandemic.

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“I’m in a position where I could give something up,” said Rooney, “not every footballer is in the same position. Yet suddenly the whole profession has been put on the spot with a demand for 30% pay cuts across the board. Why are footballers suddenly the scapegoats?”

Derby seem set for another season in the second tier as they lay 12th in the table when the COVID-19 outbreak brought football to a halt last month.

A failure to finish the season is forecast to cost Premier League clubs an estimated £1 billion. However, the effects of the economic crisis could be even more severe further down the football pyramid as many clubs face a financial battle.

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