Are Boro Being Squeezed Out Of The Premiership?

Last updated : 20 May 2009 By Boro Mad
The sad fact is, Gareth Southgate has been the reason we are heading to the Championship, make no mistake about it. But are we starting to become a side they don't want in the BIG LEAGUE.

There's talk of Celtic and Rangers being drafted in, and foreign owners are taking over every club that seems to have a Premiership future.

Are we being left behind?

There has been a tightening of belts since 2006-7, when Middlesbrough signed Jonathan Woodgate (for £7m), Mido (£6m), Gary O'Neil (£5m).

Steve Gibson had decided that his club was overpaying on wages, some for ageing stars, but still, £10.2m was spent last summer on Emnes, from Sparta Rotterdam, Didier Digard from Paris Saint-Germain, and Justin Hoyte from Arsenal.

That expenditure was balanced by sales of George Boateng, Lee Cattermole and Luke Young to Hull, Wigan and Aston Villa respectively, and it left Middlesbrough with a wage bill for players said to be around £33m this season.

The calamitous fall into the £40m gap between the Premier and Football Leagues is eased by £11.2m parachute payments next season, giving relegated clubs a huge financial advantage over Championship clubs who will all receive £2.5m from the league's improved TV deal.

That still plunges relegated clubs into an approximate £25m shortfall; to cover it Boro were expecting to sell Stewart Downing, Tuncay Sanli, Jérémie Aliadière, Mido and probably O'Neil.

Otherwise, Boro hope to keep the squad together, give their own young graduates and English signings more prominence, and push for promotion.

Let's hope so ... because some are suggesting Boro could follow Leeds into the abyss.

Next season is going to be critical to this club.