Preston North End sponsors’ financial backing of Derby County’s Wayne Rooney deal causes fans disquiet

Preston's Alan Browne and Derby winger Tom Lawrence  during last season's '32Red derby' clash at Deepdale
Preston's Alan Browne and Derby winger Tom Lawrence during last season's '32Red derby' clash at Deepdale

Wayne Rooney’s impending move to Derby County raised a few eyebrows before causing some disquiet over the tie-in with Rams’ sponsors 32Red.

Rooney will wear No.32 when he lands at Pride Park in January, Derby revealing on the back of his signing that they had landed a ‘record-breaking sponsorship deal’ with the online gambling firm.

PNE's own 'No.32' Adam O'Reilly

PNE's own 'No.32' Adam O'Reilly

Derby are not the only club to have 32Red on the front of their shirts – Preston, Leeds and Middlesbrough also do in the Championship, so too Rangers in the SPL.

So any chance of a few more quid from 32Red to help those four out a bit more?

I’m sure PNE fans would love to see a new signing or two before the deadline and how nice extra funding via a sponsor would be.

North End have their own No.32 in the shape of first-year pro Adam O’Reilly, a cracking prospect by all accounts.

But the teenage midfielder won’t land PNE the publicity and the cash that Rooney will.

If 32Red’s sponsorship is indeed helping fund part of Rooney’s reported £100,000 a week wage, how does that sit with FFP?

It has been suggested this may be the 
exploitation of a loophole.

Whether or not that is the case, the Football League have two of their member clubs in Bolton and Bury on their financial backsides, yet here is another being able to pay a salary many times above the Championship average.

Is that financial fair play or stretching things a bit too far?

Some clubs will always have more financial clout than others, that is the way of the world.

Sponsorship deals will be helping every club financially in some shape or form.

PNE’s deal with 32Red no doubt helps with the running of the club and by all accounts is for a decent amount.

Derby’s higher-profile will have landed them a bigger deal in the first place it is safe to presume, but the Rooney saga is surely a step too far.