Date: 18th April 2019 at 7:00am
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With news this week that Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson had thrown his toys out of the pram and reportedly highlighted the financial affairs of Aston Villa, Derby County and Sheffield Wednesday, demanding an EFL investigation in the process, it led to broadly similar reactions amongst fans on all fronts.

Everybody noticed he wasn’t saying this before Villa had passed Middlesbrough in the Championship table as they suffered the expected implosion under Tony Pulis and his pragmatic anti-football approach. He wasn’t saying this before Derby (one point behind, but game in hand) were breathing down their necks or even Sheffield Wednesday complicating Play-Off hopes for them, as former gaffer Steve Bruce has helped send Wednesday on a remarkable run of form given the season they have had.

“Clutching At Straws” – Gibson’s Transparent Attack On Villa Is Clear For All To See

Most noticed the Financial Fair Play assessments had only gone in last month so are still being poured over by the FFP panel at the EFL to assess any potential breaches, and there were other things about his wibbling that rubbed people up the wrong way.

Wednesday’s owner has made no bones about implications for them, Derby’s ground deal will be assessed under the ‘linked arrangement’ aspect of FFP and the spirit to which the rules apply to see if it’s just clever, or breaches market value judgements, and in fairness, the EFL have been slightly busy dealing with Birmingham City as the priority case for a precedent lately.

Suffice to say, when you have Villa, Derby and Wednesday fans seeming to agree on social media, you’re likely to have made yourself look a little bit silly.

With head coach Dean Smith holding his pre-game press conference on Thursday, Gibson’s angry wibblings as reported obviously came up, but he was calm and measured in his response as quoted by Sky Sports when asked if he felt we had any issues.

“I don’t believe so. I’ve not seen any quotes attributed to the chairman, who is meant to have said it. It’s out of my remit. My chief executive tells me we’re fully compliant.”

Adding about formulating plans for next season.

“Yes it is difficult, but it is difficult for probably 10 other teams in this division as well! We’ll look at the two possibilities and plan around that, which you have to do.”

It’s understandable why so many feel Gibson has gone for the distraction technique here to try and lead headlines, as bottom line is having proved their point against QPR and Birmingham, if any side have erred, the EFL will act to strengthen their own position.

Gibson doesn’t need to run any kind of game here, the EFL will be looking themselves. I’m sure he knows that, but that’s not the point is it.

There’s slightly more thoughtful language in the original article’s Forum Thread but the points remain broadly the same.

Click for the forum

5 Replies to “Gibson Appears To Have United Three Fanbases Against Him But Villa Remain A Calm Voice In The Storm”

  • Just read your article, Mike, remind me again what it was that Gibson took issue with Villa for ?, you know, the reason for your article because it doesn’t seem to say.
    I did read in your article that ,
    ‘ in fairness, the EFL have been slightly busy dealing with Birmingham City as the priority case for a precedent lately’.
    Presumably by ‘in fairness’ you mean that three weeks ago it was announced in the press that Birmingham had been deducted nine points for breaching P&S rules, rules that Birmingham City accepted and did not contest.
    Just why this would still be occupying the EFL is not explained and is not a little confusing, perhaps you’d like to inform us.
    Before you reach down to your nether regions to untwist your smalls, let me agree with you in your assessment of Tony Pulis and ‘his pragmatic anti-football approach’. no complaints there,
    but if your case rests on the reaction on social media of the fans of the three clubs highlighted by Gibson, then I’m afraid the only ‘toys out of the pram’ behaviour rests with the fans and ‘scribes’ of the three said clubs, unless, of course, you wish to report the accusations and the ‘obvious’ reasons why they simply do not stack up.
    It’s reported that head coach Dean Smiths’ response was ‘calm and measured’, an excellent approach, and one that you, Mike, would do well to emulate.

    • It’s quite simple, having been preoccupied with the Birmingham issue, the EFL will now be fully focused on all EFL member clubs, Villa included. Any future decisions won’t be overnight, so Gibson’s demand for an investigation is hot air because the EFL are already investigating.

      It seems Gibson has took issue with the fact that Pulis has blown Boro’s promotion and he’s looking to deflect – it’s quite clear. As is the use of the word ‘have been’ as the Telegraph report clearly states this is his second call to action, presumably because the EFL aren’t moving fast enough for his purposes here.

      Glad to help Paul, but if you don’t understand past tense I’m guessing you won’t find it useful in searching for an explanation for something I haven’t actually said and therefore don’t need to explain.

  • Its the Middlesborough fans i feel sorry for, Gipson is a total tool and embarrassment to the club

  • Mike, let me clear up for you what is ‘quite simple’.

    1. By a letter dated 14 August 2018 the EFL gave notice that the Club was referred to a Disciplinary Commission in connection with breaches of the Championship Profitability and Sustainability Rules (P&S Rules). The members of the Disciplinary Commission were appointed and on 18 October 2018 directions were made for the preparation of the case with a view to a hearing fixed to commence on 26 February 2019. The directions recorded that the Club had already accepted the charge, and that the matter would proceed for determination of the appropriate sanction.

    You see, Mike, put simply, after the 18th of October 2018, there was nothing to be ‘preoccupied’ with.
    I refer you to the final sentence in this statement released by ‘Sport Resolutions’, (the specialist independent dispute service), therefore the notion that only now can the EFL be fully focused on all EFL member clubs is nonsense.

    Lest we forget, the reason for Birminghams’ points deduction was for a breach of the Profitability and Sustainability (P&S) rules by exceeding the 39 Million pounds aggregate loss threshold over three seasons.
    As you know these are ground breaking new rules which must be seen to be fair and enforced to all member clubs.

    The three clubs mentioned by Steve Gibson have all spent heavily in a bid to obtain promotion and, should they do so, having potentially circumvented the rules, would profit rather than be penalised.

    It seems to me that the reason for highlighting this issue and these clubs is far more to do with complying to a level playing field for all member clubs than the suggestion that this is sour grapes over what has clearly been a poor season for Middlesbrough.

    Finally, as regards my understanding of the ‘past tense’ , Mike, let me draw your attention to your sentence :

    ‘It seems Gibson has took issue with the fact that Pulis has blown Boro’s promotion’,

    I assume you mean that Gibson has ‘taken’ issue with the fact . . .

    • “…of the case with a view to a hearing fixed to commence on 26 February 2019.” You do realise that’s not where the work ends. For a start the March determination completing the three year period as per the Regs hadn’t been done, the ground work on the first two years with an acceptance they had already breached, still needed to conclude with the final years determination for paperwork purposes.

      Or in the alternative, you believe the EFL have been twiddling their thumbs on other clubs because they are capable of legally making a three year determination, based on two years worth of information, for all member clubs from the Championship down to League Two, as estimations are good enough.

      It seems you misunderstand the simple point the final years information wasn’t required to be sent to the EFL until March of this year, and that is when the paperwork gets concluded not just for Blues, or Boro, but all 72 clubs although I am sure, you appreciate that’s not an overnight job?

      The fact, Birmingham’s acceptance of breach came at whatever point, doesn’t absolve the work required for the final product so the i’s are dotted and the t’s get crossed and the complete assessment for precedence purposes is available for future use.

      Your selective highlighting of the quote unfortunately ends the argument.

      “The directions recorded that the Club had already accepted the charge, and that the matter would proceed for determination of the appropriate sanction.”

      The very quote shows that work was still required in order for the ‘determination of the appropriate sanction’ – thus quite simply, the full period for the extent of the breach in fact, not in assumption, still occupied the EFL’s time.

      I fully see what you’re trying to do, but your own argument also highlights Gibson’s presumed intentions here which you haven’t seemed to appreciate.

      You’re calling for facts and fair and justified punishment (I agree for the record). Gibson is demanding an investigation and creating headlines, when an investigation is already being held, based purely on his own presumptions, not facts. The latest pull for all clubs being required to release such information to other member clubs and not just the EFL, actually highlights the fact that Gibson cannot know of what he claims.

      Whilst it might be considered understandable for fan sites to lean on speculative and baseless claims from the media, surely the owner and chairman of multi-million pound businesses should require of themselves a higher standard for a soap box?

      You again argue fairness, where was Gibson’s motivation for demanding an investigation (that is ongoing and was always going to be ongoing given the March deadline for final assessments to submitted) during the period when dominating a headline cycle would’ve removed positive ‘play-off’ hope reports, as opposed to ‘blown it’ reports?

      The agreement between the Premier League and EFL of joint punishment powers under the confines of FFP remove the ‘escape to victory’ route of a breach by the very nature point deductions are now fair game. The Premier League have already confirmed a club could potentially be denied promotion from the Championship on breach anyway and there is no deadline on points deductions. The very fact the EFL made it ‘current season’ for Birmingham proves that also. When the final figures are known and we know the facts for all clubs, a points punishment will be applied if required this year, so promotion isn’t an escape and profit is not appropriate.

      As for your final point, well played Sir, I missed that!

      Enjoy your weekend Squire!

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