Derby players intend to withdraw an offer to defer 25 per cent of their wages as Wayne Rooney confirmed he is at the centre of problematic pay talks between the club and board.
Sportsmail exclusively revealed on Wednesday how Rooney was acting on behalf of the squad in their battle against proposals to impose a 50 per cent wage deferral.
Confirming his position in talks, a spokesman for Rooney confirmed: ‘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.
Wayne Rooney is leading difficult talks with Derby County chiefs over wage deferrals
Rooney has acted as spokesperson for the squad and told the club they won’t accept 50% cuts
‘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.’
Derby want an agreement in place by the end of the month to ensure the cuts are in place for May’s payment of wages. The Rams’ wage bill is believed to be between £30m-£35m.
Derby are looking at ways to lessen the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic
The PFA are backing the stance of Derby stars while club hope deal can be struck before May
But tensions are starting to simmer as talks took a significant blow after the players threatened to withdraw a loose agreement to accept a 25 per cent deferral until the club release their financial accounts to be analysed.
It is understood the players are in agreement not to forgo any money until the club’s books have been scrutinised.
The PFA are backing Derby’s players stance.