Derby County was a club that went through the wringer last season. If things could go wrong, they did go wrong.

Derby County owner, Mel Morris, wanted to sell the club – two takeover deals fell by the wayside. The club ran foul of the EFL. Derby’s performances dropped off and they were in a relegation battle. Wages to players weren’t paid on time.

They only avoided relegation with a last-day draw and other results going their way. That lucky escape preserved their Championship status but they start next season facing continued uncertainty.

What’s the situation the Rams face now?

The missing wages have been settled. However, uncertainty is still there at Pride Park with a takeover seemingly no closer than before. The club are also under an EFL transfer embargo and face limits on who they can sign.

Wayne Rooney is facing up to that embargo dilemma as their opening game of next season creeps ever closer. He is facing the frustration of fielding a host of free agents in friendly games but not being able to sign them, yet.

As per Derbyshire Live and Steve Ncholson, he admits the Rams “are a little bit closer” to making new signings. However, he adds that “we need more than four players, and at the minute we still can’t do those four players due to the restrictions which are on us.

Nicholson illustrates the nature of this by stating that the Rams have nine free-agent/non-contracted players currently training with them.

Wayne Rooney - Derby County


It doesn’t just rain for Derby County, it pours! The Rams seemingly cannot get any form of luck at the moment. The transfer embargo that they are under at the moment is evidence of that.

No matter how you choose to look at the situation, Wayne Rooney and his available squad are at the thin end of the wedge. Not only that but they are staring down the barrel.

They have a friendly on Sunday against Notts County where they will have to put out the best side that they can. They will be able to play their trialist/non-contract players in that game at Pride Park.

However, the big test comes a week on Saturday when they welcome Huddersfield Town as their visitors. This is the opening of their 2021/22 Championship campaign. Should they make no headway on signings before then…well, it really doesn’t bear thinking about.

Derby County really are in the depths of a transfer impasse and it shows few signs of getting any better. The longer it stays like this, the more it will hurt them.

That hurt could be very real come August 7 and the end of the Huddersfield Town game.