My tribe

Middlesbrough chairman Gibson can't trust McClaren

Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson admits he could never fully trust his former manager Steve McClaren again.

Recounting how in 2002 McClaren came close to leaving Boro for Leeds, Gibson told the Sunday Times: "I rang McClaren and I just knew from our telephone call that he was ready to go. He didn't know that he actually wasn't first choice at Leeds, Terry [Venables] was and we knew that. But that wasn't the only time he was going to jump ship, he was also prepared to go to Chelsea and Newcastle.

"We're friendly enough now, we shake hands when we meet but he's never been back since he left and he's not on my Christmas card list. And we never want to get into that situation again, I don't want a guy who is always thinking about the next rung on the ladder. If Steve McClaren said to me the grass is green, I would go out and check. He can be charming but he had this streak of ambition that was absolutely bloody ruthless and you can't go through life always trying to achieve your ambitions at the expense of others.

"He just saw us as a stepping stone and if you can make enemies at a club like ours, you're going to be in trouble when things go wrong. Having said that, he has something as a coach and a manager and I do believe he will come back. But managing England should be your last job, not your next job. Steve's ambition couldn't see that."

About the author

Tribal Football Staff

Have your say
  • Add your favourite leagues and clubs
  • Build your own personal news stream
  • Easily share your favourite stories
  • Connect with what your friends are saying

Select your favourite
leagues and clubs
to get started.

Already part of MyTribe?