Derby have been relegated to Sky Bet League One after suffering a 1-0 defeat at QPR and will play in England’s third tier for the first time since 1986.
A late goal from Luke Amos at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium saw Wayne Rooney’s Rams go down, while a dramatic point for Reading, who came from 4-1 down to draw 4-4 at Swansea, doomed them. to the descent.
County finished the game with 10 men after Tom Lawrence was sent off for a second yellow card after a tackle on Charlie Austin in the dying seconds.
The Rams, who have been fighting an uphill battle since receiving a 21-point deduction for their financial troubles, gave their chances of survival a boost by beating leaders Fulham on Good Friday but could not continue against Rangers. , whose victory was the first in seven games.
The acquisition has to happen. If the takeover doesn’t happen, then I really fear where the club will end up. If it doesn’t happen, my future is in doubt. If it happens, then I want to rebuild the club.
The crucial breakthrough came with two minutes to go.
Ilias Chair passed the ball from the left to Lyndon Dykes, who in turn placed it to his right and Amos, who was unmarked, the midfielder calmly guided his shot past goalkeeper Ryan Allsop.
Amos had an early goal disallowed when Dykes headed goalkeeper Kieren Westwood’s long shot into the former Tottenham man, who pushed the ball past Allsop into an empty net but was ruled offside.
Luke Plange squandered a glorious opportunity to put Derby ahead by heading Lawrence’s free kick from the left off the top of the crossbar from close range.
Another set piece by Lawrence, this time a corner from the right, caused Rangers further trouble shortly before half-time, with Krystian Bielik volleying in after Westwood’s fumble.
With Reading trailing at half-time, Derby knew victory could help them close the gap, but it was QPR who were in front for much of the second half.
They nearly took the lead a couple of minutes after the restart when Chair sliced in from the left and saw his right footed shot pushed in by Allsop, who also blocked a long-range shot from Dykes.
Derby threatened in the closing stages, with Malcolm Ebiowei causing big QPR problems on the right flank.
Andre Dozzell deflected Ebiowei’s cross wide of his own net and Nathan Byrne was parried at close range by Westwood.
But Amos’ third goal in five games and sixth of the season left Derby facing League One football next season.
There are still big questions surrounding Derby’s future with the club still in administration.
US businessman Chris Kirchner has been named the preferred bidder and met with the EFL earlier this month to discuss his takeover proposal.
Rooney: “I want to rebuild the Derby”
Derby manager Wayne Rooney said sky sports after Monday’s defeat he wants to stay and bring the “happy days back” to the club if the takeover goes through.
However, he emphasized that Derby’s precarious situation leaves his position at the club in doubt.
“The takeover has to happen. If the takeover doesn’t happen then I really fear where the club will end up,” Rooney said. Sky sports.
“The future of the club is in doubt, if [the takeover] It doesn’t happen, my future is in doubt. So you have to.
“If it happens [the takeover], then I want to rebuild the club. You see the fans what it means to them every week, this is a special club, a great club that we are all proud to be with and I want to be the one to bring back the happy days.”
He added: “It is a complex situation. I feel more sorry for the players because we have added 52 points and now we would be safe under normal circumstances.”
“We’ve paid the price for what the previous owner left behind. It’s nobody’s fault but the previous owner and we’re paying the price. I’m sure it’s a sad day for him too because Mel Morris is a Derby fan, I’m sure he would be disappointed.”
Warnock: ‘Derby will recover with new owners’
Former Cardiff City, QPR and Sheffield United manager Neil Warnock says it’s vital Derby get promoted back to the Championship next season and has full faith they can have a bright future under new ownership.
“I think we all knew they were going to be relegated a few weeks ago,” Warnock said. Sky sports.
“Wayne did well, bringing in the young guys. They’re going to have to rely on those young guys next season. It’s tough for Wayne, as while he gets accolades, he’ll never get another job with less pressure.”
“Next season, they have to be promoted. It’s a fabulous club and it will bounce back under new ownership.”
Morrison: ‘Neither Pep nor Klopp could have saved Derby’
Former Crystal Palace striker Clinton Morrison says Rooney had an impossible task trying to keep Derby in the Championship and hopes they can keep the manager and “bounce back”.
“They were the best team and unlucky not to get away with anything, but it’s been the story of the Derby season,” Morrison said. Sky Sports football special.
“A lot of things have been thrown at them and I think Wayne Rooney has been excellent, losing key players without him knowing it and you have to give credit to those fans – they’ve been fantastic.”
“I don’t live too far from there so I go to see a lot of Derby games and the fans have supported the players non-stop through everything. They’ll be there next season when they’re in League One.”
“You also have to give credit to the young Derby players – they gave it their all. They’ve still been in contention with three or four games to go – it’s outstanding. Tell me, who, after losing 21 points, can do that? No. Even Jurgen Klopp or Pep Guardiola or Thomas Tuchel could come in and do the job that Rooney has done, and they are the best.
“It was an impossible task. Hopefully they can keep it and someone buys the club and takes over because it’s a great football club and you want to see them bounce back.”