Boro v Reading
I am not really getting the Djed Spence love in at the moment. I will admit I have not seen him play for Forest this season so I thought I would look up his stats to compare with Isiah Jones. In most categories Jones wins. They have played approximately the same number of minutes. Jones has 1 goal 6 assists Spence 1 goal 0 assists. Jones MOTM 3 times Spence 1- (whoscored stats) Jones makes more tackles whilst Spence makes more passes, with a slightly better success rate. Tellingly Jones makes 50% more key passes per game. I know stats don't tell you everything but why is there not the same interest being shown in Jones as Spence?
Interesting stats MW and perhaps Spence got the attention because the national media were focused on his performance in the victory over Arsenal. I'm sure more interest will be shown in Jones when he delivers another late assist to beat Man Utd in the 4th round - thankfully the transfer window will be closed by then 😉
I don't think Spence and Jones are a direct comparison to be honest. Spence is playing as a right fullback with a wide player ahead of him. His first job is to defend, which by all accounts he's been doing well, whilst his "threat" going forward, perhaps rather than his actual numbers, has been what's added to his value.
Jones has played as a winger in the early part of the season and, although he's now at right wing-back, is still really playing as a winger. He's also the player we are consistently turning to to provide assists in a way that I can't imagine Spence is being used at Forest.
My sympathies go back to 1939 and the start of the Second World War, not that I remember it of course, when football fans throughout Britain wondered when they might see their loved ones never mind football again despite the occasional opinion that hostilities would be over by Christmas. Therefore it was easier for me to cram in as much football as I could in late 1956 knowing that in less than two years I would safely be home from Singapore following my beloved Boro. By then I’d stopped watching Redcar Crusaders, Hartlepools and Boro reserve matches in the old North-Eastern League which Boro invariably won. But think back those that were lucky to survive the war had been away from their loved ones and starved of most football for seven years. That’s why record crowds occurred thoughout all four divisions of the Football League and especially FA Cup matches.
Just look at this selection of attendance of some of our clubs:-
83,260 Man Utd v Arsenal Jan 1948 (at Maine Road) *
78,299 Everton v Liverpool Sep 1948. 76,588 Aston Villa v Derby Mar 1946 FA Cup 55,029 Hull City v Man Utd Feb 1949 FA Cup # 53,596 Boro v Newcastle Dec 1949 51,385 Portsmouth v Derby Feb 1949 FA Cup. 47,310 Notts County v York Mar 1955 FA Cup
*Old Trafford closed for several years due to war damage, highest ever attendance for a League match at the time.
# at Boothferry Park.
Just a sample picked at random, but you get my drift. I also believe that Newcastle averaged over 60,000 as a Second Division club on the way to promotion in 1947/48.
A statement from Middlesbrough FC...
MFC is aware of the media speculation regarding its claim against Derby County and has read last night's statement by the EFL. The club wishes to ensure that, to the extent possible given that the arbitration claim is confidential, the full facts are in the public domain, rather than ill-informed speculation.
Why are MFC bringing a claim now?
MFC became aware that Derby County was cheating under the P&S Rules during 2018/19. MFC first intimated a claim against Derby County in May 2019 immediately following the end of the 2018/19 season. The claim was held in abeyance whilst the EFL Disciplinary Proceedings against Derby County were followed through to a conclusion. MFC then sent Derby County a Letter Before Action in the autumn of 2020 and started arbitration proceedings against Derby County in January 2021. Derby County used various procedural tactics to seek to delay the proceedings and as a result the claim has yet to be finally determined. MFC is not responsible for the delay. Had it been finally determined, and an award made in favour of MFC, there would be no dispute that MFC would be a Football Creditor.
It is said the claim has no prospect of success so why continue?
Given that the claim is confidential, MFC does not understand how people can assert it has no prospect of success. MFC is a commercial organisation and would not pursue frivolous litigation at huge costs unless it had been advised that there is a good prospect of success. The claim is not limited merely to the amortisation issue in respect of which a Disciplinary Panel have already found Derby County to have breached the P&S Rules. Without breaking the confidentiality of the proceedings, in simple terms, MFC allege Derby County and its directors systematically cheated under the P&S Rules and that such cheating affects the integrity of the competition. At least two clubs, namely Middlesbrough and Wycombe, were directly affected by the cheating, albeit in different seasons. In simple terms so far as MFC is concerned, had Derby County not cheated, MFC would have been in the play-offs. However, Derby County did cheat and, as a result, MFC lost the opportunities that arise as result of that.
How can MFC hold the administrators and EFL to ransom in demanding that its claim, reported to be worth over £40m, be met in full as a condition of the share in the EFL transferring?
That is not what MFC has said. The club believes that it is a Football Creditor but accepts that, as things stand, the size of the debt due is unknown. All MFC have said is that any new owner should be required to honour the final decision of the Arbitration Panel on behalf of Derby County once that is known. There is a certain inconsistency to the arguments presented by the administrators. On the one hand, it is said that there is no prospect of the claim succeeding, in which case there is no risk for a new owner. But, on the other hand, the administrator apparently cannot find a new owner because they will not proceed without the claim being settled due, presumably, to the fact that it has merit and might succeed. If the claim has no prospect of success MFC does not understand why a new owner would resolve the matter by accepting that the arbitration decision should be honoured. Of course, if the claim has a value as MFC believes, there is no reason why MFC should not, as a Football Creditor, be entitled to recover the monies due to it.
Why is Steve Gibson refusing to compromise the claim?
MFC has made it clear since the administrators were appointed that it was happy to discuss how the claim is dealt with and whether a compromise could be reached with the administrators or the new owner. The administrators contacted MFC in November 2021. However, there has been no contact at all since then, until this week. The administrators ignored MFC’s correspondence from November and MFC’s offer to continue engagement. MFC has made clear that it does not wish to see Derby County fall into liquidation, and that MFC is happy to be realistic in its expectations in order for Derby County to exit administration. However, it is ultimately up to the administrators or the new owner to put a firm and realistic proposal forward or merely agree that MFC’s claim, when finally determined, will be met in full by the new owners.
On the face of it this appears to be an excellent response to some of the misinformation reported by the media and then repeated via various branches of social media. 😎
Now jumped to the BBC Website. 😊
Only 500 tickets left for Blackburn away will definitely sellout today
A very well written statement.
It is a rare pleasure sometimes to read well written, concise and clear language. These days, in my profession [like FB QS] there are far too many know it all youngsters who find it hard to string more than a few sentences together.
A good well written solicitor's letter is hard to beat.
Well done Boro and well worthy of the forty million Pound claim.
Allan, I think we’ll written English is becoming a thing of the past.
Some ex-Boro players are returning to the North East.
Former Middlesbrough defender David Wheater could make a comeback with Darlington. He has had a back operation now and is on the road to recovery after undergoing surgery on a back problem two months ago. Wheater will be 35 next month.
During his formative years he was on loan to Darlington from Boro in the second half of the 2006-07 season, making 16 appearances with his debut coming in the same starting XI as current manager Alun Armstrong.
Elsewhere, Sunderland have completed a deal for Danny Batth who has moved to the Stadium of Light on a free transfer from Stoke City.
The 31-year-old becomes the Black Cats second signing of the January transfer window. The former Middlesbrough centre-half has signed an 18-month deal on Wearside.
They have also beaten off competition from Celtic and Wigan to secure the signing of Patrick Roberts – and are hoping to wrap up a deal for the midfielder in time for him to make his debut in Saturday’s home game with Portsmouth.
The Black Cats first held discussions over Roberts at the start of the month, but things have been complicated by the 24-year-old’s current contractual situation in France.
Surprisingly there are no Boro players connected yet with Hartlepool. Manager Graeme Lee is yet to make use of his former employers Middlesbrough but admits he has touched base with the club over the possibility of bringing some players to the Suit Direct Stadium.
It would be interesting to see where Coburn (possible loan?) or Browne (loan) will go. The latter possibly to Oxford United again.
Up the Boro!
Allan, I think we’ll written English is becoming a thing of the past.
There was an interesting set of interviews including our own Mark Drury and also Mr Couhig (?) - American owner of Wycombe Wanderers - on the recorded version of "Rams' Daily" or some other wittily-named sports programme from yesterday afternoon/evening, on BBC Derby. Part, but not all, of the MFC Press Release was read out in the programme. Access it via BBC Sounds. I was able to do that at midnight Tuesday/Wednesday. It was highlighted by Anthony Vickers on Twitter yesterday as a good listen.
Obviously the BBC Derby man was very concerned about the fate of DCFC and the sense of devastation that would create for the club's supporters and the local economy if the club went out of business. The American made it clear his aim was not to put that club into liquidation (ie end the business) but it was clear the interviewer was taking as fact some issues which the owner of WW was NOT accepting. The owner of WW was sceptical as to the progress the administrators had made, and as to whether any firm offers really had had been put forward for DCFC as suggested by the administrators (the first thing people would need to know is how much money was available to pay claims and how much was being offered for the club because, without that, how can any negotiations take place?). When the interviewer asked him how much WW wanted, the American quite reasonably indicated he wanted to discuss matters with the administrators NOT to negotiate via the interviewer.
The American indidcated, like Boro, his club had contacted the administrators but had received no response since November last year. He said he was willing to discuss things and reach a reasonable commerical decision if only the administrators would engage - like Boro has said it would do. He was very clear that DCFC had purposely delayed filing its final financial reports, despite deadlines having been passed, after DCFC had lost its case over player amortisation etc, because it knew if those figures were put before the EFL it would incur an automatic points penalty which would have seen the club relegated LAST season to League One. They waited until THIS season had started, with DCFC in The Championship with its increased revenues, TV money etc, before providing the figures and THEN getting the points deduction in the "new season". Meanwhile, he argued, WW ended up playing in place of DCFC in the 3rd Tier of English football.
He was a very compelling interviewee who was not willing to just accept the points put to him by the interviewer, whilst still appearing very calm and reasonable. He did make the point that his club was being invited to abandon its claim against DCFC whilst there was no suggestion that club's former owner Mel Morris (who virtually the whole of the football world and certainly all DCFC fans hold responsible for the whole situation) had given up HIS claim to recover money invested in the club. The point was made that he (the owner of WW) and Mr Gibson are successful businessmen who are aware of the commercial realities of the world, and have access to their own lawyers, and it was unilkely either of them would emabark on action without a reasonable expectation of success. Mr Couhig (?) is himself an American lawyer with a great deal of trial experience and with knowledge of dealing with insolvencies etc.
The point has been made by others: if, indeed, there is no merit in the claims of MFC and WW, then one imagines the "minimal risk" of losing the claim wouldn't worry any potential buyer. What WOULD put off a potential suitor, is taking a club out of administration when there is a REAL RISK of losing. If there is a real risk of losing, then it would make sense for the administrators to start talking to MFC and WW without delay.
I was in Inverness today (don't ask...) and in that rare window of opportunity offered by being in an area of radio reception, I listened to a bit of Talk Sport with Jim White and Simon Jordan. SJ seemed to think it likely that progress in this DCFC matter will be made very soon. The social media outpourings of grief emanating from Derby will not influence WW nor Mr Gibson, however.
Very helpful, Bob. Thanks.