Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

BEACON FOR THE LEAGUE ALWAYS; Boro Will Stay a Part of the Town

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

BEACON FOR THE LEAGUE ALWAYS; Boro Will Stay a Part of the Town

Article excerpt

Byline: By ERIC PAYLOR

CHIEF executive Keith Lamb has insisted that the Boro have no intentions of inviting foreign investment into the club.

Lamb revealed that chairman Steve Gibson was determined to keep the Boro an integral part of the community - for the benefit of the community.

Lamb was speaking as he showed Minister for Sport Gerry Sutcliffe and Paul Thorogood, chief executive of the Football Foundation, around the facilities at Boro's Eston Centre which have benefited from the Football Foundation's pounds 520,000 investment.

Lamb said: "People keep questioning football clubs because the current new topic is foreign owners.

"I am not in favour of foreign owners. I believe the football clubs should belong to the towns and cities they represent.

"I am fearful of the long term future of football if we continue to go down the foreign ownership lines.

"It is important that people realise how much Middlesbrough Football Club is part of the community. We are here only because of the people of Middlesbrough and this community asset is so vital.

"I can never envisage a time when the club is not owned by somebody whose roots are outside the area."

Lamb stressed that he feared for the future of the game under too much foreign ownership.

He said: "Does it genuinely worry me that over the half the Premier League is owned by clubs outside this country? Of course it does.

"It does not worry me about Middlesbrough because we have control with Steve Gibson over what happens here. But yes it worries me about football in general.

"I also want to see the England team do well and win the World Cup, so it concerns me that only 37% of players on a Saturday in the Premier League are English.

"We at Boro try to do our bit to help improve that ratio. Kids have far more chance of fulfilling their potential and playing in the Premier League if they stick with Boro than if they go to one of the larger clubs where they are constantly dealing with short term development. …

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