Rooney leading players in battle against Derby's proposed 50% deferral

Wayne Rooney leads Derby players in a WAGE WAR as he tells club chiefs that squad will not accept proposal to defer HALF of their pay – with former England captain only willing to see salaries slashed by 25%

  • Sportsmail understands Derby board want the squad to forgo half of their pay 
  • The money they forgo would be paid back at a later date by Championship club
  • Wayne Rooney has told club the squad are only willing to take a 25% deferral
  • The England great has already made a major impression since joining in January
  • Rooney has now been assigned as the conduit between players and the board

Wayne Rooney is at the centre of Derby County players’ battle against a proposed 50 per cent wage deferral.

Sportsmail understands the Rams board want the squad to forego half of their pay, which would be paid back at a later date.

But Rooney, who is leading talks on behalf of players, informed chief executive officer Stephen Pearce that the squad are only willing to take a 25 per cent deferral.

Wayne Rooney is fighting for Derby players in the battle against a 50 per cent wage deferral

Rooney, who has had a huge impact at Pride Park, has been made spokesperson for the squad

England’s all-time leading goalscorer arrived at Derby in January, joining from MLS club DC United.

He has already made a major impression at Pride Park, being installed as club captain by manager Phillip Cocu. He is now the conduit between players and board as they look to settle a pay deal.

Rooney, it is understood, has spoken directly to Professional Footballers’ Association chief Gordon Taylor in his role as players’ delegate. He has also set up a players’ WhatsApp group to keep team-mates informed of developments.

Players want Derby to share their accounts so they can make a fully informed decision regarding the club’s proposed wage reductions.

Rooney has set up a team WhatsApp group to keep the players updated with developments

Hundreds of footballers up and down the country are unconvinced of the motives of their clubs, fearing they are using the coronavirus crisis as an opportunity to save money.

Sportsmail understands Derby players are prepared to withdraw their counter-offer of 25 per cent if the club fail to disclose their accounts.

The PFA are advising Championship players not to accept any more than 25 per cent deferrals.

Rooney could afford to take a 50 per cent deferral — but the former Manchester United icon is fighting for his team-mates who aren’t in the same position.

Derby are looking at ways to lessen the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic

In his column for the Sunday Times earlier this month, Rooney said: ‘I’m in a position where I could give something up. Not every footballer is in the same position.

‘Yet suddenly the whole profession has been put on the spot with a demand for 30 per cent pay cuts across the board.

‘Why are footballers suddenly the scapegoats?’

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