Wayne Rooney’s Derby County have been relegated from the Championship.
The Rams’ fate has been confirmed following their 1-0 loss away at QPR. Strugglers Reading produced a stunning three-goal comeback from 4-1 down to draw 4-4 with Swansea, meaning they cannot be caught by Derby.
The drop to League One had been on the cards for most of the season for the Midlands club, who were docked a total of 21 points by the EFL earlier this term for accounting breaches and entering administration. Without the deduction, the Rams would currently be 17th, 11 points clear of the bottom three.
Manchester United hero Rooney has been hugely praised for his work with Derby, retiring as a player in January 2021 to concentrate on his head coach role. He survived relegation last season on the final day amid financially stricken circumstances.
The points deduction was too much for Derby to overcome this season, and the club have been relegated to the third tier for the first time since 1986. But the effort Rooney has invested into the club was recognised by Rams supporters at Loftus Road, who loudly chanted his name for some time after the final whistle confirmed relegation.
Earlier this year, the 36-year-old turned down an approach from Everton after the sacking of Rafa Benitez in favour of sticking it out at Derby. This month, administrators named software businessman Chris Kirchner as the club’s preferred bidder as the takeover processes began.