(Reuters) - Former England captain Wayne Rooney is not in a “wage war” with Championship club Derby County as they deal with the financial impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic, his spokesperson has told the BBC.
Reports in the British media have said that the 34-year-old is leading talks on behalf of his team mates against a proposal by the second-tier club to defer the wages of players by 50%.
“Claims that Wayne is in a ‘wage war’ with his club are both misleading and unhelpful,” the BBC quoted a spokesperson for the former Manchester United striker as saying.
“As is the case with most clubs, and in particular (in) the Championship, discussions are taking place at Derby on a variety of proposals. These are being considered internally and discussed constructively.
“As part of these discussions it’s entirely right and proper that Wayne - as club captain and a senior player in the English game - is at the forefront.”
The spokesperson added that Rooney, who joined Derby from Major League Soccer side D.C. United in January, was acting as a conduit between the board and dressing room.
“Should he be approached by his club to help, then he would have no hesitation in doing whatever he can. That’s exactly what he’s doing now,” Rooney’s spokesperson added.
Rooney had previously said the public pressure being exerted on elite players to take pay cuts was a “disgrace”.
Professional soccer in England has been suspended since March 13 due to the coronavirus, which has infected 2.7 million people globally, killing nearly 190,000.
Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan