Manchester United legend, Wayne Rooney has quit as Derby County manager with immediate effect.
He departed just three days before the Rams were due to report for pre-season training.
The news comes after Derby were relegated from the Championship to third-tier League One this past season having been handed two separate points deductions for entering administration and breaching financial rules earlier in the season.
“Over the course of the Summer I have been closely following developments regarding the ownership of Derby County,” Rooney wrote in a club statement.
“Today I met with the administrators to inform them of my decision that it was time for me to leave the club. In fairness to them, they tried tremendously hard to change my decision but my mind was made up.
“My time at the club has been a rollercoaster of emotions, both highs, and lows, but I have to say that I have enjoyed the challenge.
“Personally, I feel the club now needs to be led by someone with fresh energy and not affected by the events that have happened over the last eighteen months. I will remember my time at Derby with great pride and affection and would like to thank all my staff, players and of course the fans for their incredible support. I will never forget you and hope to see you all again in the near future and in happier times.”
“Finally, I am aware that the club still have interested parties who wish to take over the running of the club,” Rooney added. “To them I say this, Derby County is a great club with a great history and great fans. I wish you all the best and much success for the future.”
A spokesperson for Derby’s administrators admitted they were disappointed with Rooney’s decision.