Soccer-Rooney steps down as Derby County boss

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Championship - Derby County v Bristol City - Pride Park, Derby, Britain - April 23, 2022 Derby County manager Wayne Rooney Action Images/Paul Burrows

(Reuters) - Former Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney has stepped down as manager of Derby County, the League One club said on Friday, ending a turbulent 17-month spell during which his side were marred by financial trouble and relegated to the third tier.

Derby were handed two separate deductions worth 21 points for entering administration and breaching financial rules last season, which eventually led to their demotion from the Championship.

"Wayne Rooney has today informed Derby County Football Club that he wishes to be relieved of his duties as first team manager with immediate effect," Derby said in a statement.

American businessman Chris Kirchner's proposed acquisition of the club fell through this month after he failed to meet the English Football League's deadline to complete the purchase.

"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," said Rooney.

"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."

The former England captain, who briefly played for Derby before becoming their manager in January 2021, added that he hoped the club would be "led by someone with fresh energy and not affected by the events that have happened over the last 18 months".

(Reporting by Dhruv Munjal in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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