Rotherham United chief hits back at 'bad losers' Derby County after Wayne Rooney criticism

Rotherham chairman Tony Stewart has hit back at Derby, accusing them of being ‘bad losers’.

Thursday, 4th February 2021, 3:18 pm

Rams boss Wayne Rooney criticised the Millers supremo and his board members for their reaction to his club's vital 3-0 win at the AESSEAL New York Stadium.

Goals from Michael Ihiekwe, Michael Smith and Ryan Giles in the final 15 minutes earned the Millers a precious three points on Wednesday night.

The game had due to be played 24 hours earlier but was postponed an hour before kick-off after a deluge left the AESSEAL New York Stadium pitch unplayable.

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Derby County manager Wayne Rooney accused Rotherham United of being disrespectful following his side's defeat to the Millers at the at the AESSEAL New York Stadium last night. Photo: Nigel French/PA Wire.

Both sides worked hard to ensure a quick rearrangement with an alternative date not being available until April.

At full-time, one of the Millers directors sang a song suggesting the Rams should have waited until April to play the game, which Rooney took umbrage at.

The former England and Manchester United striker said: “The one thing that Rotherham didn't show was class or respect from above. I think the chairman was a bit disrespectful.

“We are quick enough to have a go at fans for using (bad) language or being offensive on the side but you don't expect it from the chairman. I wouldn't expect it from our owners or our board.

“It's a bit disappointing but I suppose he works in different ways to us.”

Stewart came out firing, though, insisting that it was only “friendly banter” and that Derby have not taken the defeat well.

“I refute totally there was any bad language,” Stewart said. “I will not allow any bad language to come from any person who is sat in boardroom seating area. I will not have it. I will not tolerate that.

“There was a song at the end that was just banter from one of the directors. It wasn't me singing.

“It was friendly banter mentioning April because had we not played on Wednesday night then the game would not have taken place until April.

“I know the Derby people didn't want to wait until April. The friendly banter was along the lines of, 'April, April, you should have gone to April ...'

“It was only a song. There was no swearing. We were laughing.

“There are some good losers and there are some bad losers and that goes in the latter category.”