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Page last updated at 10:06 GMT, Thursday, 27 November 2008

Boro hint at ticket cost-cutting


Southgate and Lamb - BBC Tees Fans Forum

Middlesbrough chief executive Keith Lamb believes the club must help fans financially if they are to improve support at the Riverside.

Television money guarantees most of the club's annual income and Lamb feels they must offer supporters some relief to help maintain the club's appeal.

"The fans are the most important thing but the money they bring in is less important now," he told BBC Tees.

"We will have to use television money to subsidise ticket prices."

Lamb, and manager Gareth Southgate were appearing at the BBC Tees Middlesbrough Fans Forum on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Lamb also confirmed he backs Uefa's plans to introduce a 'home-grown' player quota across European leagues.

If we can bring our own youth through, and add youth from elsewhere and still take on the big boys, it'll give us a lot more satisfaction

Boro manager Gareth Southgate

Currently clubs are not required to limit the number of non-EU players in their squads, but Lamb is keen to see new rules to boost domestic talent.

"Michel Platini [president of Uefa] is desperately trying to bring in some new rules which Gareth and I are in favour of," he said.

Photos from the BBC Tees Fans Forum

"There are a lot of problems with quotas because it does affect the European Convention freedom of movement of labour, so to try to limit it to six could be difficult.

"But Uefa and Fifa are slowly introducing into their competitions where your squad of sixteen has to have four, five and then six qualifying players - those would be players who have been at the club for three years."

Manager Gareth Southgate was keen to back the transfer policy developed by the club during his spell in charge thus far.

The 38-year-old allowed experienced players such as Mark Schwarzer and George Boateng to leave the Riverside during the summer but believes the young talent coming through, as well as those he invested in such as Marvin Emnes and Didier Digard, are good enough to compete at this level.

"I do think it's important that in the 1990s it was right for the football club to buy players like Ravanelli and Juninho.

"Without doubt the last 10 years have been fantastic in terms of cup finals and going into Europe, but we now have to balance things off.

"To be able to bring in top stars now you need the sort of money Chelsea or Manchester City have.

"We've got to be unique, we've got to have an identity. Let's do it our way.

"We're a proud town and a proud club and if we can bring our own youth through, and add youth from elsewhere and still take on the big boys, it'll give us a lot more satisfaction."

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see also
Bolton defeat hurt, says Pogatetz
24 Nov 08 |  Middlesbrough
Middlesbrough 1-3 Bolton
22 Nov 08 |  Premier League

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