Football: Gibson rails at `grave injustice'
Saturday 14 June 1997
Steve Gibson, the Middlesbrough chairman, has accepted the penalty, which also included a pounds 50,000 fine and ultimately led to relegation, imposed by the Premier League, but has been left with "a grave sense of injustice" and a projected revenue loss of pounds 7.5m.
Gibson, defiant to the end, continued the war of words by accusing the League of being "incompetent and negligent" and has called again for an independent inquiry into actions of Premiership officials.
In a 10-page letter sent to Peter Leaver, the Premiership chief executive , Gibson wrote: "Given the legal strength of your case I have no alternative other than to accept the penalties imposed on my club. This resulted in the club being artificially placed in 19th position against the true merit position of 14th in the Premier League. The consequences have been a loss in the ladder system payment of pounds 528,575 and relegation to the First Division with a forecast revenue loss of pounds 7,500,000.
"I am still left with a grave sense of injustice as I am unable to reach any other conclusion than that this incident was most certainly avoidable and that it was not avoided is due largely to the action of the officials of the Premier League both on the day and subsequent to it."
He concluded that "the attempts of my club to be heard and to receive a balanced and fair hearing have been met with a mixture of arrogance, complacency, incompetence, negligence and self interest.
"The penalties imposed defy natural justice and my club can no longer be forgiving."
A relieved Premier League, who had feared costly legal proceedings, declared the matter closed, but were disappointed by Gibson's remarks.
"The issue has been dealt with properly and fairly and it would be damaging to the whole of football if this had ended in a court battle," Leaver said.
"It is very disappointing to read of attacks being made on the integrity of the Premier League and its officials. Such suggestions have no place in this discussion and do little to the standing of those who make them. It is time to move on."
Simon Bolton, the secretary of Middlesbrough Supporters Club, supported the club's decision not to continue the struggle. "The only reason they are not doing it is because they just don't think they are going to get the points back," he said. "Let's get on with it and get back up at the first attempt. We should shove it up them and tell them we didn't need our points back - we got up anyway."
Plymouth Argyle and Chesterfield have felt the weight of the FA's displeasure at their match in February in which five players were sent off. A brawl sparked by a foul on the Plymouth goalkeeper, Bruce Grobbelaar, led to four of the red cards. Plymouth were fined pounds 30,000, with pounds 22,500 suspended until June next year, while Chesterfield were ordered to pay pounds 20,000, with pounds 15,000 suspended.
The 28-year-old Italian international goalkeeper Luca Bucci is expected to join Rangers next week in a pounds 1.5m move from Parma.
West Bromwich Albion have completed the pounds 1.25m club-record signing of the winger Kevin Kilbane from Preston, while Manchester City have secured the Ipswich defender Tony Vaughan, whose fee will be fixed by a tribunal.
Guy Whittingham, the 32-year-old Sheffield Wednesday midfielder, has signed a new two-year contract.
Latest in Sport
My one and only game for Neil Baldwin FC
Laura Trott and Jason Kenny announce engagement
Jose Mourinho says Chelsea deserve to be setting pace going into Christmas fixtures
Manchester United vs Newcastle United preview: Alan Pardew targets rare Old Trafford win to halt Newcastle slump
Arsenal vs QPR: Leroy Fer seeks perfect present for Boxing Day
- 1 Christmas comes early to Hong Kong, as millions of bank notes spill out onto busy street
- 2 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public can visit police’s grisly crime museum
- 3 British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
- 4 Vagina canoe artist facing two years in jail defends herself over ‘obscenity’ charges
- 5 The Queen’s speech 2014: Recap and Twitter reaction to Game of Thrones reference
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Alex Salmond has 'broken his word to the Scottish people' says Scottish Lib Dem leader
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...
£70000 - £75000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Marketi...
£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...
£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...