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The day I read Mac riot act.

Byline: Philip Tallentire

Steve Gibson read Steve McClaren "the riot act" after he was closely linked with the vacant Leeds job just days after smashing Boro's transfer record, it was revealed today.

The current England manager was reportedly on the verge of accepting an offer to manage United in July 2002, less than a month after he spent pounds 8.15m of Boro's money on Massimo Maccarone.

The incident led to a breakdown in the relationship between McClaren's agent Colin Gordon and Gibson.

Gordon has been in the news this week after strongly criticising agents and claiming that the practice of bung-taking was commonplace. The Boro chairman was less than impressed with those claims.

Looking back to the incident that lead to the rift, he told The Times: "I was about to board a flight to Europe when I picked up the Sunday newspapers and saw headlines saying 'McClaren to Leeds'.

"I spoke to Peter Ridsdale, then the Leeds chairman, and he said to me that Colin Gordon was perpetually on the telephone trying to move McClaren to Leeds.

"McClaren had a five-year contract with us and was one year into that deal after we'd backed him to the hilt in the transfer market. I got McClaren in and read him the Riot Act and said to him that his agent's conduct was a disgrace and that I no longer wanted Colin Gordon involved in any aspect of the club.

"As far as I was concerned, Colin Gordon was totally and absolutely barred from our football club, he wasn't allowed on the premises and I would deal with McClaren through McClaren himself."

Gordon has denied that version of events, saying: "I was never told by Middlesbrough I was banned but the relationship between myself and Steve Gibson broke down. I'm very sad about that. These things happen in football."
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Title Annotation:Sport Boro
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Sep 29, 2006
Words:309
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