Derby boss Wayne Rooney has sympathy for employees who may be made redundant when the club goes into administration.
The Rams said on Friday the club "had no choice" but to appoint administrators to protect themselves.
"I take my job seriously and I care about the people I work with," Rooney told BBC Radio Derby.
"My first thought was of people losing their jobs and how that's going to affect their lives away from the club - mortgages, bills, rent."
The 35-year-old former Manchester United and England striker added: "It is a sad moment for the club."
A statement by the Derby board
said despite negotiations with a number of "credible parties", identifying a buyer was unlikely in the short term.
The Championship outfit, who are owned by Mel Morris and up for sale, claim the pandemic has cost the club around £20m in lost revenue and left them "unable to service its day-to-day financial obligations".
Derby won their first league game after the news broke, beating Stoke 2-1 at Pride Park on Saturday.
However, a 12-point deduction for going into administration would put the Rams bottom of the second tier on minus two points, and leave them nine points from safety.
Yet Rooney says the club can "still dream" about new investment and avoiding relegation to League One.
"We have to do everything we can to get through this and come out the other side," he added. "Performances like today will help that.
"I spoke to the players and we have to be professional. We know we are in a difficult position and there will be a points deduction coming our way but we have to do our job.
"It will make us more attractive to new investors who are potentially interested in coming into the club.
"But that has to be the right people - that has to be people who care and are going to run the club properly."
Rams players 'had no information'
Despite the rallying cry to his squad, Rooney said the first he heard about the prospect of entering administration was when he was watching TV on Friday night.
Speaking to the press after the victory over the Potters, he said he had still not spoken to Morris about the club's perilous financial state.
"I spoke to (chief financial officer) Stephen Pearce after, but initially I saw it on the TV," Rooney said.
"This morning it was a bit flat because, by me not getting all the information, the players had no information and they saw it on Sky as well.
"I haven't spoken with Mel. I am sure he has got other things on his mind.
"I've had no contact with Mel for a while now so it's been very difficult for me to address the fans when I don't know what the situation is.
"All we can do is play with a lot of pride. My job is to bring some dignity back to the club.
"I've said a few times I'm committed to this club and to the group of players and the staff, I care about them, so I'll keep doing everything I can to help us get through this.
"I think we will get through this for the better. We are going to have tough times ahead in the near future but it's my job now to start rebuilding this club and trying to put it back together."