Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

FANS A LOT! the Huge Debt Boro's Supporters Owe to Steve Gibson Is Revealed for the First Time EXCLUSIVE

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

FANS A LOT! the Huge Debt Boro's Supporters Owe to Steve Gibson Is Revealed for the First Time EXCLUSIVE

Article excerpt

Byline: By ERIC PAYLOR

BORO fans' massive debt to club benefactor Steve Gibson has been fully revealed for the first time.

The club's annual accounts for the year ending December, 2007, show that Boro have staggering combined debts of more than pounds 93m.

But the club's accounts were restructured last year and a whopping pounds 69m of this debt is owed to the Gibson-O'Neill Company Limited, which is the parent undertaking.

This huge sum is not being called back in the short term, and is clearly intended as a long-term commitment to the club.

In effect the Gibson-O'Neill Company, which also owns the Middlesbrough-based world-wide transportation company Bulkhaul, is bankrolling the club for the forseeable future.

Boro fan Vinay Bedi, from financial experts Brewin Dolphin, said: "There has been a restructuring of the club's debts, which is evident from the accounts.

"The director's report states that 'the going concern basis of the company depends on a long-term loans and overdraft facility which was agreed on March 7, 2007, and funds from the Gibson-O'Neill Company Limited, the ultimate parent undertaking, which has undertaken to provide financial support to the company to the extent necessary'.

"Quite clearly March 7 was a very important date.

"Bank loans and overdrafts of pounds 92,387,000 have been secured by fixed and floating charges over the assets of the company.

"However, while in theory the club's debt is pounds 93m, in practice pounds 69m of that debt is money which has been loaned from the Gibson-O'Neill Company and has been put into the club on a long-term basis.

"The inference is that the Gibson-O'Neill Company don't want to recall this money in the near future.

"From a fan's point of view, it stresses the huge debt that we all have to Steve Gibson."

The bottom line is that, despite what appears to be a massive debt for a club with limited turnover, the future is still in safe hands. …

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