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Written by Martin Graham | April 19, 2022

Wayne Rooney failed in his bid to keep Derby County in the second tier of English football as he was officially relegated to the third tier of English football.

The Championship club has faced many trials off the field this season, but Rooney’s management of the club has managed to keep it afloat on and off the field.

However, after an off-pitch order that resulted in the club losing 21 points due to the English Football League’s management sanctions in November, Rooney and Derby County will now compete to return to the championship next season.

The Rams lost 1-0 to Queens Park Rangers and would have been given another chance to fight for his place in the English Premier League next season if Swansea City beat their relegation struggling teammate. The Swans gave in and allowed Read to make a stunning comeback to tie 4-4 in their game on Monday afternoon.

An 88th minute goal by Queens Park Rangers’ Luke Amos and the injury-time sacking of derby Tom Lawrence ended Rooney’s hopes of snatching Leeds United next season and returning the derby to the Premier League.

The derby is currently in 23rd place on the championship table with 31 points. Had the points not been deducted from the club, Rooney’s side would have been in 17th place with 52 points, safely inside the tournament.

Rooney, who retired from active football last season at the club to take over as coach mid-season, struggled in his first full season. After helping them escape from relaxation last season, he was thrown into a club into a serious financial mess that led to their points being deducted.

Why did Derby County lose 21 points?

The club was only about to lose 12 points – which would have thrown it into a relegation battle – but an additional nine points were removed after further investigations into financial mismanagement were completed.

The club entered management in September 2021 after its former owner Mel Morris was forced to give up ownership of the club due to poor financial practices.

Morris broke several rules of profitability and sustainability in the Premier League by selling the club’s stadium, Pride Park, to one of his companies for £81m before immediately renting it to the club, which has since paid the rent for the stadium.

The club was able to evade any penalties when the case first reached the English football authorities in 2020, until further investigations took place in which Morris admitted to breaching these rules in 2021.

There were also player depreciation issues in Maurice’s time as owner, leading to financial chaos for the club.

The FA mandated the club to find a new owner in a certain period, but the condition of the club was such that it was unable to find a willing investor before time ran out, resulting in a points deduction that has now sent Derby to the top flight.

Martin Graham is a sports writer for the MFF Forum

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