Thursday, December 8, 2022



Championship – Derby County and Rooney consummated relegation



Championship – Rooney couldn’t. And Derby County were relegated to League One. But the story of a team that tried will remain. In the midst of a 21-point suspension. And was almost saved.

By Facundo Di Bona (@facudibona).

Any time past was better for Derby County. The Rams were winners of two old First Divisions in England under Brian Clough (1971-72) and Dave Mackay (1974-75). But they were mathematically relegated to League One (Third Division). Just three matchdays before the end of the Championship.

Wayne Rooney fought with all his might from the Pride Park dugout. But the 21-point (12+9) suspension for bankruptcy and financial irregularities proved too much of a burden.

The 1-0 loss to Queens Park Rangers. And Reading’s draw against Swansea (4-4) decreed relegation. Chronicle of a death foretold.

Only nine points left to play for. And Derby County, second last with 31 points, can no longer catch Reading. Fourth at the bottom of the table with 41.

Wayne Rooney’s team has survived long enough. In the winter transfer window, they gave Everton a run for their money. Had it not been for the sanction, they would be in mid-table with 52 points.

In any case, Derby County’s exercise in resilience deserves words of praise. Rooney started the season with only 12-13 players. He could only sign free players discarded by other teams, such as Ravel Morrison.

Derby could not even renew

In fact, the situation was so precarious that in some cases, such as with veteran Phil Jagielka, he only had the option of offering them temporary contracts. Even then, he had insufficient funds. And Jagielka, who was unquestioned by Rooney, eventually left for Stoke City.

The situation was so desperate that Derby County were forced to sell two other regulars in the winter transfer window: Kamil Jozwiak and Luke Plange. The former left for Charlotte for €2.36 million and the latter to Crystal Palace for €1.18.

Still, Rooney managed to swim. And he has almost died on the shore. Much to his credit. We’ll see what happens now with Derby County.



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