A spokesperson for Wayne Rooney has denied claims the former England captain is leading a wage deferral rebellion at Derby County.
Reports emerged on Thursday which suggested Rooney, who is leading talks with Rams chiefs over a possible pay cut amid the coronavirus pandemic, was not willing to accept the proposed 50 per cent deferral.
The Daily Mail report that Rooney told Stephen Pearce, Derby’s chief executive, that the playing squad were only willing to accept a deferral of 25 per cent.
Rooney is Derby captain and has acted as a conduit between the club’s hierarchy and their playing squad
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Manchester United legend Rooney, 34, was installed as club captain when he arrived at Pride Park in January, and he’s using his leadership role to act as negotiator in the ongoing talks.
The report adds that the Derby players want the club to share their accounts so a fully informed decision can be made, rather than the squad rushing into a deferral of their wages.
Rooney has spoken with the Professional Footballers’ Association and the decision to reject the 50 per cent proposal was allegedly made following advice from the union.
But claims this is an ongoing ‘wage war’ between Rooney and Derby have been denied by a spokesperson for England’s all-time leading scorer.
“Claims that Wayne is in a ‘wage war’ with his club are both misleading and unhelpful,” a spokesperson told BBC Sport.
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“As is the case with most football clubs, and in particular the Championship, discussions are taking place at Derby County Football Club on a variety of proposals. These are being considered internally and discussed constructively.
“As part of these discussions it is entirely right and proper that Wayne – as club captain and a senior player in the English game – is at the forefront.
“Alongside other Derby players, Wayne’s role has been to act as a conduit between board and dressing room to hopefully help find a mutually acceptable position for both parties.
“Should he be approached by his club to help, then he would have no hesitation in doing whatever he can. That is exactly what he is doing now.”