WAYNE ROONEY pretended to be the club doctor just to get former Derby owner Mel Morris to accept a call.
The England legend revealed the astonishing truth behind his dysfunctional relationship with the man who plunged Derby into administration.
Rooney claimed Morris left him to deal with the fallout of the club’s demise — cutting off the rookie Rams boss six weeks ago.
Roo blasted: “I haven’t spoken to Mel since August 9 — I found it all a bit disrespectful.
“I am not asking for an apology but as manager of the football club I was getting questions from players and staff every day and not being able to answer them. I was hurt by that.
“He addressed the players and staff as a group on Tuesday, which I attended. But his talk was basically the same as an interview he did on the radio.
“In my opinion it wasn’t sincere. It wasn’t heartfelt enough and it wasn’t done with enough honesty.
“But a one-on-one conversation? I still haven’t had that. I tried to phone him but he wouldn’t answer.
JOIN SUN VEGAS: GET A FREE £10 BONUS WITH 100s OF GAMES TO PLAY AND NO DEPOSIT REQUIRED (Ts&Cs apply)
“I actually called him once off the doctor’s phone and he answered. So he could answer calls from the club doctor but not the manager.
“There is a way of handling things and being open and honest and that just didn’t happen. I was so disappointed.”
Rooney has reiterated he will not walk away from Derby despite the Championship club being placed in administration.
Business advisory firm Quantuma took over the club on Wednesday, triggering an automatic 12-point deduction.
Asked whether he would have taken the job if he had known about the financial problems, Rooney said: “I doubt it.”
Derby could face further penalties and Rooney believes if that happens the integrity of the second tier could become an issue.
Rooney added: “If we get more points then that becomes a lot more difficult. From my point of view — for the integrity of the league — do I then go and play all our young players and get us prepared for League One?
“Which I don’t think would be fair for other clubs as well. That’s something I’m sure will be getting looked at.”
Rooney also revealed how his mum is also facing an uncertain future.
Roo’s mum Jeanette Marie — a Liverpool dinner lady — is living with the same fear of wage cuts or job losses.
The England legend is determined to treat all his Rams’ staff — from the players to the cleaners — with the respect they deserve.
Rooney, kept in the dark for weeks by outgoing owner Mel Morris over the club’s issues, said: “Communication is key.
“My mum is in exactly the same position. My mum is still working at the same school I went to — as a dinner lady.
“There’s discussions over whether that school gets closed down. She doesn’t know whether she’ll have a job or not.
We’re in a tough moment but if you put the work and effort in you can get through
“So I know how life works and the struggle many people have with bills or mortgages and putting food on the table.
“I’ve gone through that first-hand as a child. I know a lot of people and family who go through it on a daily basis.
“The best way to handle it is to be open and honest. If not, people will see through it.
“Transparency and honesty means a lot, even if it is a tough decision that gets made and people lose their jobs.
“You don’t walk past people, you speak to them.
“I’ve had a lot of pressure since I was 16. I can deal with pressure, that’s not an issue.
“Now it’s my job to help others deal with that pressure.
“It’s challenging but I’ll try to come out on top of it as I care for players and staff here.”
Rooney says he will remain with the Rams even if the club falls into League One after being hit with an automatic 12-point deduction.
That could be 21 POINTS if further sanctions are applied.
Rooney vowed: “If that’s where we’re at, then I’m committed to this football club. I’m ready to fight.
“I grew up in a council estate in Liverpool and I know how tough life can be.
“We’re in a tough moment but if you put the work and effort in you can get through.
“What type of person would I be if I walk away now?
“Go and put my feet up and go on holiday for a few weeks?
“I don’t think that’s the way to deal with it.”
Rooney has even dug into his own pocket to buy equipment for the club.
He added: “It’s been that way a while now — we needed equipment to film our training sessions, so I got it because I take this seriously and I want the best for my players.”
But he draws the line at following former Manchester United team-mates like David Beckham or Gary Neville into football club ownership.
In defiant gallows humour, he said: “I’m not that stupid.”
⚽ Read our Football news live blog for the very latest rumours, gossip and done deals