Rotherham chairman Stewart explains ‘friendly banter’ that angered Rooney

Date published: Thursday 4th February 2021 1:49 - Matthew Briggs

Rooney TEAMtalk

Rotherham chairman Tony Stewart has defended the actions of his board members after they were criticised by Derby boss Wayne Rooney following the Millers’ 3-0 Championship win on Wednesday night.

Rooney accused Stewart and his directors of lacking class and being disrespectful for the raucous way they celebrated a vital three points, which included loud shouting and one director singing a song.

The game was supposed to be played on Tuesday night but was postponed an hour before kick-off, with both clubs working hard to rearrange within 24 hours.

Had they not been able to do that, they would have had to wait until April for a slot in the fixture list and the Rotherham director’s chant at full-time was that the Rams should not have been so keen to rearrange so quickly.

Stewart denied there was any foul language and said the song was “friendly banter”.

“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 the 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.”

Rooney irate

Third-bottom Rotherham’s win moved them two points behind Derby.

 Rooney said in his post-match press conference: “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.”


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