Agent Orange: McClaren’s Man Blasted By Boro

THERE were some colourful quotes from Steve Gibson today as he laced into Steve McClaren’s agent Colin Gordon with the Park End passion of a tenderly nursed grudge .
The confirmed Macophobes will feel vindicated over the revelation that furious Gibbo did an abrupt U-turn on the airport tarmac and called the former boss in to read the riot act over his agent playing footsie with Leeds just weeks after the manager had splashed out a reckless club record £8.1m on Massimo Maccarone.
And in the stinging rebuke that will play well with a public increasingly hostile to agents, Gibbo – annoyed that the agent had applied for the West Brom job on Steve Round’s behalf – insisted that Gordon was banned at Boro four years ago.
So how come he not only represents Round but also four of Boro’s brightest young stars?


First the quotes, which leave the reader in no doubt about Gibbo’s righteous anger at both his manager and the agent, in the tabloids this week after controversially declaring his industry to be riddled with corruption. It is worth noting that the chairman refers to his former boss by his surname throughout, a break with the terminolgy of the past.
“I was about to board a flight to Europe when I picked up the Sunday newspapers and saw headlines saying ‘McClaren to Leeds’,” said Gibson. “I spoke to Peter Ridsdale, then the Leeds chairman, and he said to me that Colin Gordon was perpetually on the telephone trying to move McClaren to Leeds. McClaren had a five-year contract with us and was one year into that deal after we’d backed him to the hilt in the transfer market.
“I got McClaren in and read him the Riot Act and said to him that his agent’s conduct was a disgrace and that I no longer wanted Colin Gordon involved in any aspect of the football club,â€? Gibson said. “As far as I was concerned, Colin Gordon was totally and absolutely barred from our football club, he wasn’t allowed on the premises and I would deal with McClaren through McClaren himself.”
Absolutely and totally barred. And yet, while Gibson refused to deal with him directly, Gordon still managed to negotiate McClaren’s problematic new deal last year, although his hands-off involvement and the rupture between himself and Gibbo may well have contributed to the will-he, won’t-he circus that surrounded the twice signed agreement.
And he still appears to have been at the centre of Round’s application for the Baggies job, a move now shrouded in mystery. Gibson says it was ‘without our consent’ while West Brom insist they got permission from Gareth Southgate before contacting the coach.
Tellingly Gordon also has four Riverside starlets on his books. According to his Key Sports website client list he represents Matthew bates, James Morrison, Andrew Taylor and Ross Turnbull. As he has been effectively banned from club premises he past four years it begs the question as to how he managed to sign up these promising youngsters? You would hope not by personal recommendation from someone who knew him to be persona non grata.
Of course, armed with a laptop and a mobile phone an agent never need set foot in the Riverside or Hurworth anyway and can still draft demands, polish proposed contracts and give his advice remotely without too much trouble.
But it must create friction if an employee chooses to use an agent that he knows his company are hostile to. So why did McClaren persist with Gordon? Why not untangle himself legally from an agent who was possibly detrimental to his working relationship with the chairman? He was hot property so there would be no shortage of others who would take him on.
More pointedly, how is it possible that a manager and player can have the same agent? How can there be any objective mediation between them when it comes to thrashing out a deal if the man trying to get the best deal for the player is the same man who engineered the bosses own lucrative package? That is a recipe for disaster and it would surely benefit the manager, the player, the agent and the club to avoid a situation where such a conflict of interests could arise.

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4 thoughts on “Agent Orange: McClaren’s Man Blasted By Boro

  1. Vic
    Bang on, again! All the questions I have been asking myself since I read The Times’ piece this morning.
    My earnest hope, though, is that our relationship with Round has irrevocably broken down too and that, whether on the premises or off, Gordon is encouraged to hawk him to whatever bidder we can get to take him.
    In the meantime he should be put with the reserves under Coops. If he feels he is being unfairly dealt with he can always resign.

  2. Well, well, well. Mr ‘it was the others’ Gordon is savaged by Gibson.
    Good on you Steve but it just shows what goes on amongst the pond life below the surface. It also shows you how the transfer market works. The agent cant have gone off to Leeds without Mac knowing.
    It just reinforces my view that come what may we would have had a new manager this summer. Clearly Gibsons loyalty was not necessarily reciprocated.
    It makes it even more important that we back Gibson and Southgate. Not everything will be squeaky clean but they are worthy of our support, lets hope the players do the same tomorrow.
    In addition I too am concerned that Gordon represents some of our kids. I think there is a case for Gates argument that players under 21 dont need agents. Maybe Gordon Taylor and PFA should be looking after them

  3. Obviously no honour amongst thieves and it seems that it’s the kettle calling the frying pan black.
    Steve Gibson doesn’t seek the spotlight very often but when he does he doesn’t hold back and I can remember a couple of occasions when he has pulled out of deals because of unscrupulous agents. It seems nothing winds him up more than having to deal with these shifty beggers!

  4. Good on you Gibbo. It’s about time some of the other PL chairman exposed some of their dealings with agents too.
    I cannot believe that Gordon has been allowed to foster financial arrangements with some of our brightest young talent, no doubt aided and abetted by the departed manager. There appears to be no ethical code of practice in the way that some agents work, even though their so called governing body keep stating that they have their house in order.
    I work in an industry where we have to use agencies in order to get contract work, so it’s no news to me that some of these leeches are as bent as a nine bob note, but unfortunately they are a necessary evil, even though they often do the absolute minimum in terms of support to the person they are representing, or indeed the client (in our case MFC).
    I treat them with the same contempt as I do the financial advisors who some years ago sold pensions and endowments to unsuspecting people, only to find years later they were not worth the paper they were written on.
    The common denominator being that before any semblance of regulatory body is put in place to control the parasites, they’ve already made their money and are living the life of Riley.

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