Wayne Rooney 'nearing agreement with Derby to defer player wages'

Wayne Rooney ‘nearing agreement with Derby to defer player wages’ after tense negotiations with the club who had asked stars to give up half of their pay amid EFL’s coronavirus crisis

  • Wayne Rooney is leading wage talks with Derby on behalf of the first team stars 
  • The captain is reportedly close to agreeing 25% wage deferrals for the players 
  • It comes days after negotiations hit a snag with the club seeking 50% deferral 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Derby captain Wayne Rooney is edging close to agreeing wage deferrals for the first team players after a breakthrough in talks with the club, reports claim.

Sportsmail revealed last week that the former England skipper was at the centre of tense negotiations with the Championship side, who had proposed a 50 per cent deferral to protect the future of the club.

Negotiations looked to have hit a snag as a result, with players planning to withdraw an offer to defer 25 per cent of their wages. But according to the Mirror, Rooney – speaking on their behalf – is now close to agreeing the original compromise.

Wayne Rooney is leading wage talks with Derby and is reportedly close to agreeing deferrals

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

The deferrals will come out of April, May and June’s pay and be reimbursed in October, November and December, the report claims, with players whose contracts are expiring this summer not affected.

And in an effort to protect youngsters at Pride Park, the agreement will only concern those who currently earn more than £6,000 a week. 

In his role as club captain, former Manchester United star Rooney has been acting as a ‘conduit’ in crucial talks in a bid to find an understanding between the two parties.

Rooney is acting as a ‘conduit’ between players and club in his role as captain of the team

A spokesman for Rooney said: ‘As part of discussions it is entirely right and proper Wayne – as club captain and senior player in the English game – is at the forefront. 

‘Alongside other Derby players, Wayne’s role has been to act as conduit between board and dressing room to help find a mutually acceptable position for both parties. 

‘As is case with most football clubs, and in particular the EFL Championship, discussions are taking place at Derby County Football Club on a variety of proposals. These are being considered internally and discussed constructively.’

Manager Phillip Cocu (R) has already agreed deferrals for him and his staff to help the club

Rooney has made a major impression since joining Derby in January and quickly installed as captain. He is thought to have held talks with Gordan Taylor, chief of the Professional Footballers’ Associaiton – who back the players’ stance. The organisation are advising Championship stars not to accept any more than 25 per cent deferrals. 

Derby’s wage bill is thought to be between £30m-£35m, and the club have already placed their Under 23 squad on furlough – with manager Phillip Cocu and his backroom staff agreeing to deferrals to help the cause.

It comes as the Championship continues to grapple with a wage war following the revelation of massive wages paid to players and staff. On Monday a report showed that some physios were on £191,000, with some kit-men on £56,000 and the highest-earning player on £68,000 a week.  

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