Wayne Rooney's agent investigated by FA for secret payments to Derby players 1 month ago

Wayne Rooney's agent investigated by FA for secret payments to Derby players

Paul Stretford is said to have stepped in to pay wages as a takeover bid for the financially stricken club stalled

Wayne Rooney's agent is reportedly under investigation by the Football Association for secret payments made to players and staff at Derby County.

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A report by The Telegraph says a cheque for £1.6m was allegedly handed over last month to cover salaries as an attempted takeover of the club from Chris Kirchner ran into problems.

Paul Stretford is subsequently being investigated by the governing body over concerns his intervention may have breached regulations around conflicts of interest given his links to Rooney, who was Derby manager at the time.

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rooney agent derby Rooney pictured with Stretford during his time at Everton

Rooney agent stepped in as takeover bid stalled

The report claims Kirchner had promised to pay Derby's players and staff after the first week of May. When the takeover started to stall, Stretford is believed to have stepped in.

Stretford is said to have confirmed to the FA that he was responsible for making the payment. He faces a fine and having his licence suspended if found to have breached regulations.

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American businessman Kirchner looked set to become Derby's new owner when he was named as the preferred bidder for the club in April, ahead of former Newcastle owner, Mike Ashley.

Kirchner at Pride Park for Derby's game with Fulham in April

Kirchner's takeover of Derby collapsed

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His deal for the financially stricken club was expected to be concluded by the end of May after he provided proof of funds to the Football League and passed through necessary checks.

However, problems relating to the transfer of funds from a US account into the club soon surfaced, and the takeover collapsed.

Kirchner withdrew from the deal on June 13, with Rooney, who failed to prevent Derby's drop into League One last season, confirming he had left his position as manager last week.

There is no suggestion Rooney's departure is linked to the FA investigation into Stretford.

It now seems the club will be bought by David Clowes, a local property developer, after his bid for the club was approved on Sunday.

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