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Where would we be now....


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Always grateful to Gibbo for some great times. However his financial stewardship has been little short of a disaster for many a year. To the point where we are at a point where even if the club was given away the indebtedness would frighten off most - and more probably all - potential owners.

Bottom line is we are in as bad a state - if not worse- than when we went bust.

That is why I won’t be a cheerleader for Gibbo.

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maybe we would have got an better owner, one that was good at business and didnt try to run his football club and brought in a football expert to make all the footballing decisions.

i look back and think we missed a trick in them mid 90's seasons. we bought stupidly and ended up costing us. you dont sign world class midfielders and strikers when you have whyte morris fleming and co at the other end. we tried to do it all to fast. if we got it right we could have ben right up there like blackburn were for a few seasons or like newcastle. Then the second big push with zenden, jimmy the duke etc ended up leaving us skint and unable to replace them when they left. gibbo went for the glory never though about long term stability. hes continued to do it since them, throwing money at monk and stricken. hopefully after the umpteenth time hes messed up hes realized its pointless and brought scott in to ensure none of that ever happens again. 

Cant fault gibbos ambition though.

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He's been and still is a fantastic owner and well principled man that has navigated the club through what is basically a complete transformation of the sport from the 86-93 era in which he tookover. For a town of Middlesbrough's size we are still 15th in the overall Premier League points table since its inception in 92 which really isn't that bad.

However, no-one is bigger than the club and when I think back to our best times, I just don't attribute that success in my mind to Gibson. I more think where would be without Rioch when he came in, or Venables' little stint helping out or even how Mogga steadied the ship after Strachan. It's football that changes football clubs for me, not the owners or the corporate governance and that means getting coaches in that will attract the better players to the club. His commercial decision making has been brilliant at times and fatally flawed at others but unless I'm mistaken, a well run commercial venture does not necessarily mean success on the pitch. For example Pompey, after the absolute shambles they were in, have apparently been debt free since 2014 and even been turning a small profit year on year. Even after Eisner bought the club off the fans in 2017 they've still been turning a profit but haven't been in the Championship now for a decade. This has been the problem for Steve in that he has approached footballing problems with a fiscal mind, for example introducing footballing austerity in a Pulis or Warnock to try and steady the ship and then when he feels like we are stable take a risk on a Monk or a Karanka. 

Hopefully Kieran Brown and future appointments in similar roles can take the pressure of those footballing decisions away from Steve and he can focus on what he does best which is running his businesses. 

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