Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson calls for EFL to take action following financial complaints concerning Derby County and Aston Villa

Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson says sanctions must be taken against clubs that ‘cheat’ by breaking Financial Fair Play rules.

By Joe Nicholson
Friday, 14 June, 2019, 18:51
Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson believes some clubs have broken the EFL's financial fair play rules.

Last season it was claimed by the Telegraph that Gibson wrote a letter to the EFL asking them to scrutinise Championship rivals Aston Villa, Derby County and Sheffield Wednesday for breaching regulations.

The EFL’s Profitability and Sustainability rules allow clubs to make up to a £39million loss over a rolling three-year period.

Boro are keen to abide by those regulations and, after spending heavily in 2017, sold Adama Traore, Ben Gibson and Patraick Bamford for sizable fees last summer.

And following the appointment of new manager Jonathan Woodgate, Gibson was asked about Boro’s financial situation, to which he replied: “When you say finances are tight I'm not quite sure about that.

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“What I am quite sure about is we have rules called Financial Fair Play and off the pitch it's important every rule (is followed).

“If the rule is not going to be followed (then) don't have it. If we have a centre-half who picks the ball up in the penalty area I don't expect the referee to ignore it.

“If a player deceives the referee I don't expect that to be ignored. And I don't expect the EFL and other clubs to ignore Financial Fair Play.

“It's there, it's a rule, it's an important rule, it needs to be followed and if it's not followed sanctions must be taken against those clubs that cheat.”