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Derby County, twice English champions, were relegated from the second-tier Championship on Monday after losing 1-0 at Queens Park Rangers as fellow strugglers Reading drew 4-4 with Swansea City.
Derby, managed by former Manchester United and England striker Wayne Rooney, were handed two separate deductions worth 21 points for entering administration and breaching financial rules earlier in the season and have been under a transfer embargo.
An 88th-minute strike by QPR's Luke Amos condemned Derby to a 17th defeat in 43 games and sent them back to England's third tier for the first time since the 1985-86 season. They won the old First Division title in 1972 and 1975.
"I'm sad, disappointed, upset, frustrated, but proud," said Rooney. "I think the effort the lads and the staff have put in to try and galvanise the squad and the club, it's been a lot of work put in."
American businessman Chris Kirchner was this month declared as the preferred bidder for the takeover of the club and Rooney, 36, would like to stay in charge.
"If it happens, then I want to rebuild the club. You see the fans what it means to them every week, this is a special club, a big club we are all proud to be at and I want to be the one to bring the happy days back," Rooney said.
(Reporting by Dhruv Munjal in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond)