Tony Mowbray Sacked: Exclusive

TONY Mowbray has gone. He was sacked earlier this evening by Steve Gibson. Mark Venus has been put in temporary charge and wil lbe given the chance over the next few games to stake a claim for the job with a more robust, back to basics approach.
The details are on the Gazette website now.
The move was sad but inevitable, Not only had the boss lost the crowd with the defeat at Barnsley but also lost momentum with a stuttering start to the campaign after splashing out in the summer.
Mogga is a fantastic bloke of great integrity and passion for the club who really put everything into the job… but it wasn’t working out and Steve Gibson has acted with a heavy heart to salvage the season and prevent the manager being roasted alive by angry fans. With Financial Fair Play, gate money is king and the club really can’t afford thousands of supporters to stay away, no matter how sincere their intentions.
With gates and points return falling behind target something had to be done..


The brief outlines of the situation is on the Gazette website now. Myself and Phil Tallentire were invited down to a brief meeting at Hurwiorth earlier this evening. The chairman had just left his fateful meeting with Mogga and he was tortured over the move,
He was full of praise for all the work Mogga has done since picking up the debris left behind by Gordon Strachan.- behind the scenes as much as on the pitch but realised that it had not been translated into the results expected.
Gibson remains totally committed to getting the club into the Premier League and has not given up on this season and believes – as many on here do – that the team is better than results have suggested, that currently they are less than the sum of their parts and that a different approach can improve results sufficiently to yet gatecrash the play-offs.
Obviously we asked a lot of questions about how and when the decision was made and about the succession, about future finances and the overall strategy and direction of the club. We asked about potential candidates and we can rule out a few names that will inevitably pop up. The name ‘Neil Warnock’ made him choke on his pint. And suffice to say we won’t need to stock up on Tony Pulis baseball caps in the club shop either.
We have a lot of background to go into the paper over the next few days.
Personally I’m gutted for Tony Mowbray who for me remains a club legend and a bloody good bloke who has down a lot of excellent remedial work on a club that was falling into disrepair, work that will stand the next boss in good stead.
Now I’m going to get my tea.
*****

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38 thoughts on “Tony Mowbray Sacked: Exclusive

  1. Hope the history books read:
    Great legendary captain, returned during a desperate period in the Club’s history and saved Boro from relegation. Went on to severely reduce costs, stabilise the finances and left a better playing squad for the next incumbent to take things forward.
    Sad but inevitable end.

  2. Normally when we get rid, it is a time for celebration. I don’t think anyone who loves MFC will be celebrating tonight. But in the end as much as it was a painful decision for Steve Gibson, it was the right one.
    Like a loving owner carrying his dog into the vet, he had no choice but to end the suffering.
    He HAS to get the next appointment right. IMO he has made three bad managerial appointments, he cannot afford to screw this one up.
    First on the agenda for the incoming management surely must be to reverse the fortunes of the calamitous defence. Second task is to get a formation and attacking style that make the opposition fear us, not the other way around.
    Sorry Tony, I really am, but it was your time. You will always be a playing hero, and well, let’s just leave it at that.
    Di Matteo for me, if the funds allow.
    UTB

  3. Mogga has had a fair crack of the whip to be honest. He must’ve been expecting this after the Barnsley debacle, he may not be much of a manager but he aint stupid.
    Gibson has done the right thing at the right time under the circumstances;Christmas would have been uncharitable and far too late.
    If he is to save the season and beyond the next appointment must be a good one – perhaps the unctuous Kenyon has been helping to broker a deal?

  4. I think this is the right decision. It does feel strange but the league table looks awful.
    Massive decision now for Gibbo, I think he might be a fair way down the line though.
    Be Lucky

  5. Think we all feel a little for Tony. Did what was asked of him in cutting the bill. Wish it could have turned out better, but when the team is playing that bad you need a change. ‘It is what it is’ I’m afraid and results always lose you a job no matter how much of a nice guy you are.
    Reckon Pulis would bring stability to the defence and get us moving forward. His style of play is unattractive…but isn’t that just championship football in general?
    Clough/Ince/Keane – maybe? An organizer is what we need.
    Good luck elsewhere Tony.UTB

  6. Totally gutted but it had to be done. He will always be a Boro legend in my eyes.
    Good luck in the future Tony.
    Choose carefully Mr Gibson.

  7. Terribly sad.
    I feel, as I felt and said on here at the time of his appointment, that Tony Mowbray was the right man at the wrong time.
    I desperately wanted it to work for him because his idea of what our football club should be is exactly the right one, but once the fans turned en masse I think we all knew what was coming sooner or later.
    Good luck, Tony.
    As always, but especially so with the restrictions of FFP, the next man absolutely must be someone who can work with what we’ve already got.
    At this moment in time I’d probably be looking at Clough, who without doing anything spectacular has not done a lot wrong in management and would have had similar parameters at Derby. Thank goodness it won’t be Pulis or Warnock.
    That’s for the next few weeks though. Right now let’s just wish Tony Mowbray, who remains a Boro legend, all the best for the future and thank him for the effort.

  8. Totally agree AV, really sad for a Boro legend and I do believe his work in the background will pay dividends one day soon. He’s carried out some essential housekeeping that we the fans will neer really appreciate.
    He’s probably contributed to keeping the club alive actually, after Gibbo’s mind blowing bad decision on the Strachan appointment. But he did have to go, its a results game and dwindling attendances has been painful to watch.
    Gibbo has a very big decision to make on Mogga’s replacement. I wish nothing but the best for Mogga in whatever he chooses to do next.

  9. Very sad but no surprise. The fact the politbureau were at Barnsley should have been a clue – hindsight though I suspect AV got a clue. Gibbo must have been gutted and our thoughts go out to Mogga.
    Like many I am not happy with the decision but I dont know where Gibbo could go after nearly 10 months of drift. Phil wrote of a poor start but a look at the stats for 2013 and it truly is dreadful.
    I am pleased Neil Warnock and Tony Pulis wont be taking over but I will repeat the comments of Fat Sam. Dont judge English managers by what you see, they dont get the big jobs and are always doing what they can with what they have.
    JP made the comment that Gate was also at Barnsley, Lamb bumped in to Strachan at Coventry and the rest is history. Highly unlikely but John says heard it here first.
    I think nearly everyone on here will be disappointed with the end of Mogga’s stay, many will have expected it sooner or later.

  10. While I appreciate the reasons for Mowbray’s dismissal, it feels a rotten way to treat someone who has saved the Club not once but twice.
    A sad, sad day.

  11. Yes, I am also sad but it was absolutely the right thing to do, for the club and for the man himself. If he had stayed it would have torturous to see him destroyed.
    My favourite now would be Sean Dyche. He has worked wonders in both his last jobs on a limited budget and came across as an intelligent, capable and passionate man on football focus the other week. It may be tough as Burnley are flying and look good for promotion but surely Boro have bigger potential in the long term? If Burnley go up they will go straight back down and Dyche will lose his job anyway. Could Boro tempt him with a good pay rise or wouldn’t other Boro fans want him anyway?

  12. Its a sad day for Middlesbrough Football Club, Im gutted it’s ended this way for Mogga. Thanks Tony for all done behind the scenes with scouting system etc. Reducing the wage bill. You left us a decent team that should be able to compete in top six.
    It was only saturday I was watching video of when Mogga was appointed our manager coming up three years this weekend. He had a twinkle in his eye he couldnt wait to get started in Job.
    He’s one of us. Going miss him going on about his Boro memories, bit worried to what will happen now Mogga was on a rolling contract. A new manager want be on big contract deal no doubt and be the same problems no money to spend on players.
    Think after this I dont ever want see a Boro legend as a manager its too painful. All the best Tony hope to see you back one day maybe as part board room.

  13. Sorry it hasn’t worked out Mogga and all the best for the future. I would of liked a new manager before Friday to bring the fans back for the SOT match Di Matteo would be my choice, probably out of our reach though.

  14. We can all feel sorry for anyone losing their job but based on the job in question, we shouldn’t feel too sad.
    AV writes that Mogga “remains a club legend and a bloody good bloke who has down a lot of excellent remedial work on (the) club”.
    His captaincy and general decency are undiminished by his spell as boss but the remedial work has to be focused on the team as well as club.
    Here he has failed badly indeed, huge turnovers of players yet not one newcomer to the club in three years who can be deemed a true success. Ditto the Academy players.
    He had to go and in general his been treated well by the Teesside public, a sentiment that probably saved his bacon in the summer. He had a fair crack so no crocodile tears and good luck to him and his staff.
    What must Steve Gibson be thinking though? Despite his true Boro roots, Mogga has spent half of his adult life away from the club and town. It doesn’t mean he doesn’t love the Boro any less than Gibson but the chairman is the man charged with physically dealing with the bigger picture and minutiae every waking hour. It’s a seriously hard call and to sack Mogga must have hurt him in many a manner.
    Gibson has done more for this club than anyone. If there’s anyone to truly feel sorry for, it has to be him.

  15. Whilst not surprised, I am deeply saddened.
    I was always against his appointment, not because, that at the time I did not believe he could do a good job, but because ultimately it would all end in tears. He let his heart rule his head and he took the poisoned chalice.
    I also still believe that Mr Gibson has escaped relatively lightly from all the fall out from his last three appointments.
    I appreciate that he has little room for manoeuvre at this time, but Venus and Proctor?
    This could take us backwards, in as much as the new manager may think he has inherited a load of rubbish. More changes, new staff inevitably. I doubt the backroom staff will survive. So more money out of the door with no return. Uncertain times once more.
    As Paulista Park has said in the past, the fans may just get who they had wished for!!!!!!

  16. Having given more thought to Mogga leaving words from the late John Harvey-Jones about change came in to mind.
    If you change you dont know if you have got it right, if you dont change you know you have got it wrong.
    In my mind it sums it up.

  17. Thanks for caring and for trying your best in this impossibly difficult job, Tony.
    I wonder if some of the fair weather supporters will now show that they care enough to do something to help our club. I hope we get some of the missing thousands returning for Friday’s game but will not hold my breath!
    Some of the players might turn up on Friday too: I hope, but do not necessarily expect that either. They have let Tony and us down badly over the last years, no matter which manager has been in charge!
    What a terribly sad night!

  18. Each appointment becomes more crucial than the last. My guess is that Kenyon’s arrival was not coincidental and the future boss may be from a Man Utd or Chelsea pedigree/background?
    Management moves on and leaves a lot of experienced managers behind as I’ve mentioned before. For that reason I dont think we will see a Megson a Warnock or an O’Neil here any time soon.
    Gibbo may go back to the future to when it all kicked off and life was on the up, i.e. a Robbo type which again thinking about Kenyon and his contacts makes me think.
    A few names to ponder over may be the more obvious like, Giggs, Scholes and OGS, the slightly less obvious perhaps like Carragher or maybe another Gibbo/Robbo moment with Beckham or Lampard (incidentally both of whom were markedly well received by the Boro fans when playing at the Riverside)?
    The bookies I think are way off the mark. Pulis could do a job but the club is not set up for a Tony Pulis I don’t think. McLeish would be another Strachanesque PR disaster, Roy Keane and MON are yesterday’s fish and chip paper, Clough would just bring us back to the days of Stan Anderson and nearly men.
    I think that Gibbo has seen this coming for a while hence Kenyon’s arrival. He has perhaps realised that picking managers is not his best forte’. With Kenyon like as not having an input then I think we could all be surprised. Lets face it even SG could probably do with an uplifting experience along with the rest of us fans, so Beckham or Lampard it is then or possibly Di Matteo!

  19. I know I’ve slagged him off more than most, but it’s still sad to see him depart in this way. It is absolutely the right decision at this time but how I wish it could have been different. It would have been great for a real Boro hero to have led the side to glory.
    Despite everything I’ve said I wish him well for the future.

  20. Some decisions just have to be made, however sad they make you feel. Mogga will always be a playing legend at Boro and will go with the best wishes of the vast majority of the Boro supporters.
    Onwards and upwards!

  21. Sad but inevitable after the last ten months.
    Results and performances have been awful and Saturday obviously was the final straw.
    Players have to take responsibility for this too,a few of them need sacking too for their performances.
    Apparently Peter Kenyon has been at all our matches this season so it’s fair to assume he might have a say in the next managerial appointment.
    I think it’s about time we had a total clear out,Venus,Proctor and all the other past Middlesbrough connections and start afresh, no more jobs for the old boys.
    There is too much sentimentality in this club,it needs to end now. We all know why O’Neill wouldn’t come here after Mc Claren,he wanted his own staff and Gibson wanted to keep Cooper and co here and in the end it was the start of our demise!!
    Don’t know who I would like or who the club can afford but I know I don’t want- ,Ince, Megson, Pulis, Di Canio, Clough, Keane or Warnock.
    Di Matteo is a good shout but could we afford him or is it too much of a step down for a recent Champions League winner?

  22. It’s a sad, sad day but I think we’d all seen it coming. The tide had turned unfortunately and Mogga wasn’t able to turn it back.
    There’s something admirable in the stubbornness and sheer bloody-mindedness needed to try to improve a bad situation, bit by bit, but even the most ardent Mogga fan would admit improvement was looking unlikely, sadly.
    We’ve all heard plenty of talk of the behind the scenes costcutting but I don’t suppose we’ll ever really know the full extent of what that entailed. For the record, the team looked too patched up for too long to me and, even when the funds were there to invest this summer, confidence/belief – in the manager and perhaps themselves – had gone, from players and fans really. Which is a real shame.
    I’ll still look back relatively fondly on Mowray’s time in charge though; some great moments. None in the last few months, obviously, but knowing we had someone as manager who was as desperate for success as we were, not for himself, his career advancement or his profile but because he really wanted to bring success to Teesside, meant a lot – to me at least.
    I wish it had worked out differently, but it didn’t and I think most people – possibly even Mogga himself? possibly not – would recognise change was needed. It is what it is.
    I hope Mogga feels he’s leaving with his dignity intact, and with the support of the majority of Boro fans still. It’s easy to say he’s been away a long time but he’s done a lot for this club as player, captain and now manager. I wonder if we’ll ever find out how much he’s had to do over the last three years, and how different the job was to what he thought it would be – he’s come up short there but he remains undiminished in my eyes.
    Thanks for everything Tony.

  23. ‘Personally I’m gutted for Tony Mowbray who for me remains a club legend and a bloody good bloke who has down a lot of excellent remedial work on a club’
    Sentimental tosh AV and a damn good lesson to be learnt about how not to run a football club ie., he’s a good mate of mine so let’s give him a chance.
    I, like every other Boro supporter idealise Mogga. As a player he reflected the passion on the field that every one carries with them as they watch the team from their seat. But, it’s simply not enough when transferred to the manager’s job and it makes it so much more difficult to move on said incumbant when things aren’t going right. Makes it even worse when personal emotions come into play.
    Six games into the beginning of the slump I highlighted that there was a major problem. Can you imagine the feeling when thirty games, yes thirty games on people are still saying “Oh give him a bit more time to get it right’.
    Give me a break! Mogga had lost the team months ago and the sad fact is the people who voiced their support for him on a weekly basis, week after week, weren’t in fact doing him or our club any favours.
    Professional football is an unforgiving beast and if you can’t bring success to a club you should pack your own bags and ship out.
    SG should take some time to consider what the hell he’s doing in terms of his recuitment of managers. Let’s drop the excuse that we are a nursery club nurturing players and managers for England’s greater good. Now’s the time to focus on the greater good of the club. Now’s the time to get ruthless and ship out all and sundry who aren’t pulling their weight.
    As I’ve said previously, if you can’t bring success to the Boro pack your own bags and ship out.
    **AV writes: You know what, I don’t mind a bit of sentimentality about football. Nostalgia, emotion, dreams.. its all part of what binds us to the club and unites us as one cultural whole. I like that about football.
    Plus I genuinely like Tony Mowbray. He is a good bloke with a lot of admirable qualities. There is always room for a human dimension. Of course, that sentiment can’t – and shouldn’t – shield him from the harsh realities of a results driven business. But it won’t stop me liking the bloke.

  24. I can only echo AV, it’s very sad. Mogga will always be a hero, but you can’t argue with the stats.
    Hopefully, he’ll turn out to be our Neil Kinnock, who didn’t succeed himself, but laid the groundwork for future success.
    You can’t deny that the club is in a far better state now than when he took over.

  25. Perhaps I was the last one to fully support Mogga. I really did.
    A club legend as a player and having read every article written about Boro, I admire the work he did behind the scenes. He did put the finances in order, bought some right players (OK we need a striker and CB still), palying style was good and the scouting system was put in there.
    But above all I think he was the right person. A dream kind of a manager. He cared about the club and the area. I wished he would have stayed here for the next 10 years.
    Mogga, thanks for exciing few years. Having met you a couple of times, I will miss you.
    I hope we won’t make a Strachan type change in management style now. So that we change everything – again. We need continuity now. More than ever. As said in the previous blog, we cannot afford to make big changes now as it would take three or four years again.
    My favourite would be Colin Cooper with an outsider as an assistant. But we need a motivator now and a few additions at CB and striker positions.
    Thanks for everything, Mogga. A hero – both as a player and a manager.
    Up the Boro!

  26. Former Boro players Fabrizio Ravanelli or Juninho? The little fella could have the same affect as Robson had but would need an English right-hand man.
    But it is too easy to draw a list of former players. Perhaps Never Give Up on Boro is right and we need an outsider now to see the final tweaks for a successful team.
    Up the Boro!

  27. Not really a surprise given that Mowbray was both the Championship’s longest serving manager and had the league’s worst record for 2013 – something had to give eventually. Hopefully, he’ll be ultimately seen as the man who laid the foundations under difficult circumstances for Boro’s return to top-flight football.
    I’m sure Mogga will remain philosophical as he’s under no illusions about the harsh reality of football as a results-based occupation. He would have needed to win 9 from the next 13 just to accumulate a points total from his last 46 games that would have normally been enough to avoid relegation – given that Gibson had no choice if he retains realistic ambitions for the club.
    So who next? We probably need someone who’s a pragmatic charismatic non-nutter who can work with what he’s got and instill confidence into the team – there must be hundreds out there, no? OK cue leftfield appointment by Gibbo…

  28. A legend forever but the best move for all parties concerned.
    Obviously the first priority will be to somehow shore up the defence and get the home form going with less respect for the opposition.Good luck TM on what ever you do next.

  29. If we went down the player manager route how about a Lampard/Terry combo? Also a name everyone seems to have forgotten is Alan Curbishley.
    I have a gut feeling we’ll get Di Matteo but I’m not sure about him; he didn’t do that great at West Brom and was helped at Chelsea by having world class players.
    Clough wouldn’t take us any further forward from where we are at. Derby had a similar pattern to us under his leadership.
    Very brave but necessary decision by Steve Gibson; really hope we get the next appointment right…..

  30. He obviously worked hard and is much loved but unfortunately there may be a lot of debris again. Don’t forget a lot of these guys are now on new relatively long contracts just like Strachen’s lot, and the academy players have gone backwards.

  31. Once the away crowd turns Gibson tends to act fairly quickly. They are his litmus test.
    What a poisoned challice TM had to sip from. Reduce the wage bill from Xmillion that was inflated, after relegation, by Strachan to get promotion. Cut out the dead weed or wait till the contract ran out, then with a thread bare squad rebuild and get promotion with a low average gate and an unpatient crowd after a 3 year rebuild.
    He cut away as requested, “cut the bush right back” then just as he was getting to where he wanted and picked up the longest serving manager title he got the boot.
    What got him the sack? Last years free fall, this years multi individual errors but mainly the financial position of the club.
    I wasnt his biggest fan when he signed, (i also thought Strachan would have been good at the start of his regin) but i have been impressed with the way he has conducted himself and he desire to bring the club its stability back.
    The club is in much better shape than when he arrived but in the roughly same league position.
    Who next? The main thing is to get a manager in wants to play football on the grass.
    To lurch to a long ball would be a disaster, require a three year rebuild only to end up being sacked cos the footie is rubbish.
    The club needs a motivational boost and confidence boost.
    Those players who have given away the soft goals and pens over the last 2 months need to take a seriuos look at themselves. You’re getting paid but your performance got your manager the sack, you should be ashamed. He cant kick the ball for you.
    The king is dead, long live the temporary king until he resigns and a new king is annointed.

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