I am going to stay at Middlesbrough says Steve Gibson
28 May 2009 11:24
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The Teesside-born businessman saved Boro from financial meltdown in the mid-80s and has rubbished speculation that he is planning to walk away from the club after its 11-year stay in the top-flight was ended last weekend.
'I have a great enthusiasm for the town, I have a great enthusiasm for football and particularly for Middlesbrough Football Club,' said Gibson.
Newcastle, Middlesbrough, Sunderland and Hulls Premier League relegation battle'I am going to stay at this football club. Forget about the rumours and the nonsense but that's what happens when you are losing games.
'I was never asked those questions when we were winning games and we've got to start winning games of football again. Just keep the faith.
"We want the club to be the flagship of Middlesbrough and the flagship of the community and we want to do a lot of good in the town.
"It's not just about football. We put a huge amount into the community at every level. We don't want to talk about that forever. It's not just about money. People always want to talk about money. I don't.'
Gibson, who is worth an estimated £112 million, said reports relating to the club's financial problems over the last season had been exaggerated with suggestions that Boro were £90 million in the red.
'The debts of the football club are widely reported but I really sometimes don't know where the figures come from,' Gibson added.
'What I do know is that the reported debts weren't accurate. The club did have debt. That debt has gone down by two thirds and the club if it goes back into the Premiership this year will probably be one of the clubs with the least debts.
'But we are not a goldfish bowl. Things are quite private in the way we run the financial sector of the club.'
Gibson, who was given the freedom of Middlesbrough following the club's 2004 Carling Cup triumph, has run the risk of alienating supporters by standing by manager Gareth Southgate following their drop down to the Championship.
He is confident his loyalty will ensure the good times return to the Riverside.
'I enjoy speaking to the fans and I get a good welcome in most places I go,' Gibson said in an interview with BBC Radio Tees.
'Walking across the car park at the Riverside on match days is always pleasurable and it's great to see people with smiles on their faces. We have had a lot of that. We have had a bad eight months but the past season should in any deflect from the fantastic decade we had before it.
'It's important that the club, the town, the supporters all stick together and prepare ourselves for the new challenge and that we have a clear objective which is that Middlesbrough return to the Premiership as soon as it possibly can although nothing is certain in football.'