Gibson – Boro Are NOT For Sale

BORO ARE not for sale! Steve Gibson has hit back at at media speculation that the club could be a target for a foreign takover and made public his desire to ensure only Teesside accents ring around the Riverside boardroom.
We discussed the reasons why such a sell out was very unlikely on the blog a few days ago. Obviously the rest of the media are not as well versed in the economics of our small club and the Daily Express named Boro as being one of several clubs that their source close to the owners had told them were available at the right price.
Now Gibson has bent their ill-informed ears and emphatically told them they are wrong.

“We all have to be concerned that there’s so much with foreign ownership coming into the English game,” Gibson told the Express. “If you ask me why I came into football I will tell you its because of what used to happen in the old days… when you became an owner because of your love for football and because of your affection for the community and having being born in that community. I came into football for those reasons but if they are not the reasons for the newly arrived owners then that worries me.”
After admitting sheepishly that Boro had been listed erronously by their source in their ‘for sale’ menu on Thursday the Express let Gibson categorically underline the fact.
“Let me make it perfectly clear,” he said. “Boro are not for sale so I have no idea who has been suggesting that we could be. I am the sole shareowner of Boro and I am not selling. It has not been for sale and it is not for sale now.
“I have always said that I have bought Boro and want to keep Boro for the sport and for the glory. If anyone else is in football to turn a profit you would have to aske them about that.”
That is pretty clear. It is a quick and unequivocal response to the tabloid-fostered speculation, it is passionate, it is inspirational and it reinforces the steely determination that underpins Steve Gibson’s stewardship of the club and which is our strongest asset.


32 thoughts on “Gibson – Boro Are NOT For Sale

  1. England were particularly bad against Spain and I have no doubt that the influx of foreign players doesn’t help the quality of English players avaiable to the England manager. T
    hat said the line up and tactics used against Spain could have been a lot better. In my opinion Mac needs to stop worrying about how to stop the opposition and concentrate on how to get the best out of what he has.
    I’m not suggesting England are good enough to be world champions, but from what I saw of Italy in the World Cup they weren’t that good either. They were lucky to beat Australia for a start.
    One other problem we clearly have is players with over inflated egos who think they are better than they are. Cole, Ferdinand, Lampard, Gerrard, Neville. If they played as well as they talked England might achieve a little more.
    Alf has a reasonable point, Boro have a lot of potentially good English players but the team is dominated by non-English players.

  2. “I have always said that I have bought Boro and want to keep Boro for the sport and for the glory. If anyone else is in football to turn a profit you would have to ask them about that.”
    so why do boro keep trying to take as much money off boro as possible? Such as one of the only clubs to have 2 new kits every season.

  3. fact is english players/managers are not good enough for the very top. thats why teams like arsenal have to buy from abroad and have managers from abroad.
    not sure what gibson is getting at. We wouldnt be where we are now without all these foreign players at boro like yakubu, viduka, schwarzer, pogi, huth, boateng, arca, mendieta and in the past juninho,rave, emerson, branca, fuchs,festa, jimmy,zenden,frank q..etc
    and what about players like xavier who come in on loan and take an english players position, and huth/pogo take riggots role. or having an australian keeper like jones since he was a youth instead of a young english keeper.

  4. Alf,
    With respect, Gibson’s comments are aimed at foreign owners taking over clubs for possibly the wrong reasons.
    What he is telling us is that he still retains his passion for our club as a supporter as well as a business man, and he is not about to sell out to the next Arab sheikh or Russian oil magnate to walk into the Riverside waving his cheque book.
    I agree that foreign players are stifling the developoment of good young British talent, but isn’t that why Gibson has put so much emphasis on our academy? Remember the blog we all took part in some weeks ago on this very subject.
    But even he is not so naive as to realise that we will still need to bring in “outsiders” to bolster the squad and the team if we are to devlop further as a Premier League club, it’s a matter of finding the right balance surely?
    I share his vision, as many of us do, of a team filled with local talent from within a 20 mile radius of the Riverside, but it’s not going to happen overnight.
    However what I would like to see, as John from Reading has already said, is some sort of Boro fans trust.
    Why not allow supporters the opportunity of buying a small piece of the club. I have said on here before that Gibson is in danger of becoming a Howard Hughes figure unless he opens up to the fans a little more. There has, for a variety of reasons, been a growing trend of disconnected, disillusioned and disenchanted fans giving up on Boro, he needs to win them back.
    Hearts and minds, that’s what Gibbo should be thinking now that he has reiterated his passion for what he wants for this football club. Let’s get the Riverside Revolution back on track, and please not the half hearted attempts at ticket price reductions and Lamby spouting about the Teesside Nation, that’s rubbish.
    No it has to be something that the fans will feel part of, so if Gibbo is the fan he always says he is, then let him share that passion in the club and the community with the rest of us.

  5. does it matter if a foreign person owns a club? what difference does it really make to how well a club are doing?
    I dont see manutd suffering since they were bought by an american. I see West Hams spending has gone up since the take over.
    I would happily take a foreign investor on board if it meant we had a lot more money to spend on players and increase our chances of winning more cups.
    I dont want this club to be treading water around mid table for ever, i want us to push on. we are in danger of getting left behind. I have yet to see a club suffer because of a foreign invester coming in. Portmouth seemed to have done ok too.
    as for the academy, it seems a bit over rated. taylor, downing and cattermole have come through with real potential but they arent good enough to play for a top 6 side really and not good enough for england.
    maybe managers like wenger feel there is better youngsters abroad, just like we took on brad jones and few other foreigners as youngsters like marinelli.
    on a side issue, if gibson is the guardian of the club for the fans then lets see ticket prices reduced for next season and stop paying agents loads of money
    Fact is unless the english players are good enough, clubs will look abroad to find better options and the english player will end up in the lower leagues. boro are no different. just at the moment we have glut of a couple of players coming through, more by chance than anything.
    players like davies,marrison.etc are never going to be regulars and more like squad players then end up in the championship
    **AV writes: Both Man Utd and West Ham were ‘leveraged buyouts’. Thatis the money to buy them was raised by loans with the club as security. The transfer money splashed out has just been added to the overdraft and future income will be used to service the debt. That is, buying a big house you can’t afford then paying the monthly mortgage with a credit card. It is not a healthy model.

  6. Until our club is backed by a multi billionnaire we will never be able to compete with the top teams in the premiership, never mind Europe!
    I have every admiration for Steve Gibson and his passion and commitment to the club but he does not have the money to compete and he’s taken it as far as he can on his own. Now we need investment from other sources and if that means foreign investment then I’m all for it.

  7. I’m sure i read last year boro are £40 million in debt. Not as much as Man Utd but we are a lot smaller club and with lower revenue. How do we know Boro isnt mortgaged up to the hilt? manutd are still making a profit as just announced this week.

  8. Christine,
    I too would love someone to come up to Steve Gibson and offer him a bottomless pot of gold, with absolutely no strings attached. But I can’t see that happening can you?
    Any investor will want to see a return for his money and Gibbo knows that, and he is not about to let go of his club without being sure that we will not be looking at locked gates again in 10 years time.
    We have no idea what the long term plans are for Boro, and I do hope that an investor will come in, after all Gibbo said “Boro are not for sale”, he didn’t say “but if someone wants to put some dosh in then we’ll talk about it”.
    But I think we all need to be clear, it will be on Gibbo’s terms and no-one elses.

  9. Let’s just hope that Steve lives a long and healthy life and we’ll not need to worry about all this for quite some time.

  10. Why hasnt Gibson fallowed the same route as the Blackburn chairman and agreed to reduce prices next season?
    **AV writes: Maybe they are working on it for next season’s budget now, we don’t know. Already this season Boro have several times slashed prices for games. It may not completely address the issue but it is a start.

  11. Dave
    Take your point about the shirts but as has been mentioned before at least the money goes into the club. There is no creaming off profits at JJB etc. Small consolation I know but we know that huge sums are not disapearing out of the club plus there are certain clubs where Directors also take huge sums out.

  12. Ian, Dont forget the £3m+ that goes into agents back pockets. Keith lamb can now never complain about having to put up prices after that was revealed

  13. Dave
    I wasnt talking about parasites, I was referring to the fact proceeds from shirts go into the club shop and that unlike alledged directors of certain football clubs I believe ours dont take excessive amounts out of the club.

  14. I would rather the 3m went to the chairman than a football agent who probably has never been to middlesbrough or stepped inside the riverside

  15. Alf,
    We don’t know what the clubs financial status is, it’s a private company and doesn’t need to post on the stock market. Only Gibbo, his close associates and his accountants know the true story.
    But we do appear to be seeing a tightening of the belt somewhat, no daft transfers, not being held to ransom by the WBA’s of this world, delaying talks on key players over contracts, so there are signs that things are not as rosy in the garden as some people might think.
    We could be seeing the beginning a new era that sees the club only competeing at a level Gibbo is comfortable with, unforunately that may mean having to miss out on players we would like but can’t afford.
    **AV writes: The clearest indication was the warning that Teesside would get “the team it could afford.”

  16. Yer right Vic, I forgot that one from Lamby.
    The club have also written off some very expensive earners, letting them go for next to nothing, and in some cases paying up their contracts.
    I think Gibbo is trimming the cloth on the back of the Sky money due to come our way in the summer, clearing the decks so to speak, or in our case clearing the deadwood out, hopefully in preparation for a new assault.
    The only negative aspect being that every other PL club will be getting a slice of the same Sky windfall so competition for players will be high.
    We could still be in a tricky position, money in the bank but being unable or un-willing to buy over priced players on daft wages.
    **AV writes: There is also other spending on the horizon, not least the hefty investment in turning the Hurworth complex into a top-of-the-market golf/health and leisure hotel. That will be a long term asset to the club but a substantial short term cost.
    Gibson and Lamb have stressed in recent years that the club needs to be well managed and live within its means if it is to be sustainable at this level. To that end the wage bill and transfer outgoings are being carefully controlled.
    That probably means that unlike Robbo and McCalren Gareth won’t be given a big “transfer warchest” to spend willy-nilly, although the club insist that money will always be made available to back the manager in the market if and when the right targets become available.

  17. When Steve Gibson took total ownership of the club he did so to give himself total control – this means that it’s extremely unlikely that he would take in investors.
    The ability of the club to compete in the Premier League is threatened by the continuing influx of billionaire investors to an increasing number of our competitors. It is also limited by the wealth of the Middlesbrough catchment area.
    Like all clubs in the Premier League, Boro have global exposure and although the ‘big four’ dominate foreign screens and fan interest, there are opportunities and revenues that the club could earn if it adopted a more local AND global approach on the business side – there’s a limit as to how much the area itself can generate to support its football club. Bulkhaul wouldn’t be the business it is if it hadn’t added a global dimension.
    I think as well that the club needs to be far more ‘customer’ focused: the quality of service at Arsenal for example is lightyears ahead, and if Boro want to win back the missing thousands then it’s about more than just money – it’s about entertainment for sure, bit it’s also about feeling valued and appreciated by the club – it’s an emotional attachment after all.

  18. The clearest indication was the warning that Teesside would get “the team it could afford.”
    They should have thought of that before dumping on long term season tickets holders for the match in Eindhoven.
    Gibson, Lamb and co can shove their football team up their jacksy as far as I am concerned.

  19. Neil, you can buy the company accounts from companies house for 15 pounds as its a limited company.
    we are indanger of the club getitng left behind as billionaires are buying up clubs and looking to expand their brand abroad. Sadly one problem with gibson is that he only sees boro as a local club with no fan base outside the uk

  20. Alf,
    You’re correct, you can buy the clubs accounts, I used to be a Ltd Co too. However its historical, probably wouldn’t tell the whole story and it won’t say what future plans there are.
    I think we probably all feel a little behind the rest in terms of what we can and cannot afford to do, and it’s a bit worrying that Gibbo is ring fencing his asset and is basically saying he’s not letting anyone play with his train set.
    I re-iterate mine and many others points on here over the last 2 years or more, Gibbo is locking out the very people who he says he built the club for, us!!
    He goes on about the community, and how he bought the club for the sport and glory, well aren’t we part of that too?
    The club need to work hard to get the fans back onside, without the fans the club will just melt back into insignificance.
    In recent years I have seen almost no evidenece that the club care about the fans at all with the “you’ll only get the club we can afford” type attitude, as though it’s our fault.

  21. Kenny is right. Being sole owner of MFC gives Steve Gibson ‘Big Fish in Small Pond’ status. If he were to sell a percentage of the club or even the club itself to Bigger Fish then he would not have the status within the community he has now.
    Unless Steve can come up with more money to invest then we will never be more than an average premiership side, which will more often than not scare the fans with relegation battles.
    I salute the sentiment of having home grown players coming through the academy and playing for their home town. But even with the biggest rose tinted spec s on you have to admit that Downing is nowhere near the class of Ryan Giggs, Cattermole is not Steven Gerrard and Morrison, Davies, Graham etc are nowhere near national class and I doubt they ever will be.
    Mr Gibson the time has come to eat a piece of humble pie, sell some shares and bring some money into the club so we can buy and compete with the big guns.

  22. Gibson is doing a fantastic job, but not since liqudation has anyone come into the comercial side of things. someone with new idea or push us on to expand our fanbase.
    over last 10 years we have had plenty opportiunities to look th expand the fan base, but each time the club seem content to just keep the club as a regional club

  23. Isn’t the signing of Brazilian, Korean, Austrailian, Austrian, Dutch and players of other nationalities an attempt to globalise our fan base?
    During his reign, the club has had new players and managers, I think that Steve Gibson should look at the PR and Marketing departments of MFC and Keith Lamb and decide if some of his senior staff need transferring.
    If the club are to ever compete with the so called big four, it would take an investor with virtually unlimited funds to turn up on Teesside.
    I can not see this happening as Brand Boro with one Carling Cup success to its name does not have the history to attract such a person.
    The fans could help Steve Gibson out in the first instance by filling the Riverside for every game. At least this would show any potential investors that the people of Teesside support their team.

  24. I think gibson likes the romance of having a team/club full of english men. Is he anti-foreign? Not keen on outsiders coming in and wanting to change things.
    **AV writes: Anti-foreign? The big signing this years were Huth (a German) and Arca (Argentinian) while GD Lee (Korean) has come in during the window. The only English signing was Euell and Woodgate is on laon.

  25. But he has to buy foreign when there is so little english players available. Forced to rather than by choice to siogn non english players.
    That reminds me the all english team at fulham last season.. where have they all disappeared to?

  26. Alf
    Since Steve Gibson took control of the club,
    Boro have signed foreign players that in the past I and other Boro fans would have only seen on the telly.
    To call him anti foriegn is ludicrous.
    The team at Fulham was basically an academy side and was only chosen because Boro had the small matter of a UEFA Cup final 3 days later.
    If the academy can provide the first team with one or two first team players per season it will be more than doing its job.
    You only have to look at the prices that clubs from the lower leagues are quoting for players to see how much a successful youth policy can save the club.
    I am a fan of David Nugent who has risen from Bury to Preston to the England U 21’s in a short space of time, however his transfer fee now seems out of Boro’s reach.
    Could Billy Sharp of Scunthorpe be the next Nugent? Does anyone else think he might be worth taking a chance on.
    He will cost a fraction of the price of Nugent and wages wise he will be cheaper as well.
    Hopefully Southgate unlike MaClaren will at least consider signing players from lower leagues.

  27. english players mightr seem over priced but jsut look at massimo and rochembach to see that quite often expensive imports do not work out. massimo cost us close on £15m all in and rockembach is on massive wages and still has over 3 years on his boro contract to go and mentally he isnt upto it.
    that probably over £20m wasted which could have been spent on ‘over priced’ english talent. on the surface imported player might look cheaper but they are higher risk.
    i remember when steve mac became manager and the club said it was looking to move away from foreign imports and by englisjh..but that didnt last long did it?

  28. Alf
    Flops can be English, lets face it Ricketts cost the Boro a small fortune and he was hardly a success.
    Attracting proven PL players to the Riverside that are British is difficult as young players seem to want to move to the bright lights of London or one of the so called big four teams.
    That is why our scouts should be spending their time scouring the lower leagues for potential stars.
    It was obvious at the start of last season that both Sidwell and Nugent were going to be a success in the Championship, and as such Boro should have been signing these types of player.
    The reason teams sign foreign players is normally because transfer fees and wages are cheaper than players of a similar calibre who are British.

  29. never happy,
    Our scouts in the uk are pretty poor. When was the last time we discovered someone in the lower league and turned them inot a premier player? Our policy seems to be to rely on local lads or spend big from abroad. Look at teams like reading and why arnt we picking up players before they do

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