Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson has denied the club are on the brink of administration, describing rumours of financial woes as ‘nonsense’.
Speculation has increased that Middlesbrough could be the next English football club to suffer financial collapse, two years after the club was relegated from the top-flight.
Determined to return Boro to the English Premier League, Gibson personally bankrolled a spending spree in last July’s transfer window that left the Yorkshire side with the largest wage bill in the Championship.
But the chairman’s investment has amounted to little. Boro have been ordinary on the pitch, manager Gordon Strachan was replaced with Tony Mowbray to arrest a run of poor results and the club is now facing the reality of another season in the second tier.
The dire situation has prompted fears that Boro could be on the verge of administration, but Gibson has reassured fans the club is in the black and planning another raid on the best available talent in the coming transfer window.
“I don’t know where these stories come from. It’s all nonsense,” Gibson told the Evening Gazette.
“People who spread these rumours are no friends of Middlesbrough Football Club.”
“Most people in the town are fantastic and they are behind the club and they enjoy being a part of things. I can tell them that there is absolutely no substance to the stories that they have heard.”
“Who starts them? I wish I knew how these things start.”
Phil Brown is one answer, after the Preston North End manager mistakenly said Boro players were waiting to be paid in January; a remark he later retracted.
“There was one stupid comment from Phil Brown and people jump to conclusions,” Gibson said.
“We have been the best resourced club in the Championship this season by a long, long way. There is nothing wrong with the finances of the club.”
“What we do have is a huge wage bill and that’s something we are dealing with.”
“Until the arrival of (new manager) Tony Mowbray we were not getting a return on the pitch from the wage bill.”
“But our wage bill is unsustainable at any level. It’s not about how big your wage bill is, it’s about getting value for money from your wage bill.”
“We are 18th in the Championship and that’s why this situation can’t continue. We will continue to be one of the best resourced teams in the Championship next season.”
“The club will be resourced to give the manager a competitive Championship squad.”
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