This one probably won’t make us many friends, but here goes…

Steve Gibson should do the right thing and drop the club’s legal action against today’s visitors.

From the outside looking in, this messy episode is an unnecessary act of kicking another club when it’s down and it reflects poorly on our Chairman and, by extension, our football club.

Firstly, Gibson is a legend on Teesside - as Chairman of our club he has enjoyed unparalleled longevity, success and, in return, as supporters we have bestowed hero status upon him and, for the most part, it is probably merited. After all, were it not for Steve Gibson, where would we be? Would we even “be” at all? It doesn’t bear thinking about, does it? Well, that’s exactly how Derby County supporters must be feeling at present. The day-to-day uncertainty, wondering if a resolution can be found before the lights go out… Think about that for a moment.

However, as popular as he is, Gibson is not above criticism, nor should he be, and it would be naive to back him unconditionally and without question. The problem is, when you’re the richest man in any given room, people tend not to challenge your position on any given matter, let alone tell you that you can’t/shouldn’t do something. This feels like it could be one such example.

We’re not going to go into the finer details of the proceedings for two reasons, firstly, they’re not materially relevant to the point being made and, secondly, they are still ongoing. What can be said, is that it does seem slightly excessive to hold a grudge against a team just for beating us to the signing of Martin Waghorn! And, anyway, if you were Steve Gibson and wanted to sue anyone for the club failing to achieve promotion in 2018, then surely Tony Pulis would be top of the list!

We know that there’s bad blood between Gibson and Mel Morris, the man responsible for orchestrating Derby’s financial demise. Fine, so why not just pursue Morris? Why push on with what could be seen as a vexatious claim against an insolvent football club trying to secure a buy-out and stave off liquidation? It just doesn’t seem right.

Furthermore, to publish what was a knowingly churlish and mischievous open letter seemingly goading a club on the precipice of financial ruin seemed an unnecessary step too far. As a chairman who has seen first-hand his club teeter over the abyss of liquidation, the thought that he would seek to concertedly twist the knife and contribute toward pushing another club into liquidation should be hard for Boro fans to reconcile. We’ve been there. We were desperately hoping for a last-minute reprieve. A miracle. Fortunately, and against all the odds, we got our reprieve. Derby may not. Let’s hope they do.

There’s been a consciously manufactured rivalry between Boro and Derby over the course of the last few years. This court case has sent it stratospheric – Derby fans have mounted a hate campaign against Gibson in recent weeks which has seen a rather unsavoury chant savouring his demise and, apparently, some visiting fans have tried to secure tickets for today’s match in the West upper in order to try and confront Gibson. Surely, at this point, everyone must just dial things down somewhat and admit it’s gone too far. It needs to stop. Gibson CAN stop it, if he chooses.

Sadly, nobody seems to be coming out of this sorry affair well, but the main concern for Middlesbrough is that, through the actions of our Chairman, we come off particularly badly. There’s arguably a bigger picture to consider here, wherein the football fraternity should be pulling together, rather than dragging each other through legal proceedings. However, you can never underestimate the vindictiveness of rich middle-aged men holding a grudge.

#UTB #SaveDerbyCounty

By Anon