THE troubles at Bury and Bolton Wanderers act as a reminder that Middlesbrough are fortunate to have a chairman with the club’s best interests at heart, believes Jonathan Woodgate.

Whereas a deal to take over Bolton was completed yesterday, with administrators announcing a sale to Football Ventures (Whites) Limited, Bury were kicked out of the Football League on Tuesday, a move that will almost certainly lead to liquidation.

Boro have had their own near misses in the past, Steve Gibson being among those that saved the Teessiders in the 1980s, while he is currently keeping a close eye on the finances as the club will receive no more of the parachute payments they were entitled to after their 2017 relegation from the Premier League.

Woodgate said: “Middlesbrough need to count themselves lucky that we have someone like that from Middlesbrough, from Park End, born and bred in Park End, to become the owner of the football club is fantastic and it's just a shame that someone couldn't do it for Bury.”

Referring to the near death of Middlesbrough in 1986, Woodgate added: “We didn't lose the club because we had a chairman who stuck by us through thick and thin and really grabbed the bull by the horns and brought this club from out of the mire to where it is now.

“To a European final, to being in the Premier League, to getting to Carling Cup finals to FA Cup finals to winning promotions, to getting to Wembley, he's that man and that's what Bury needed but unfortunately they didn't get that.”

Woodgate also agreed that Gibson, chairman since 1994, could be taken for granted by some supporters.

“I'd say definitely at times they do and that shouldn't happen, he does the most he can for this football club and he'd pumped his own money in for God knows how many years and backed every single manager more or less with a lot of money.

“I remember that season we went down (2017) a few seasons ago – the amount of money he put into the club back then was astronomical. He wore his heart on his sleeve a bit so I would say people do take him a bit for granted and we need to realise what we've got and sometimes you don't realise it until it's gone.

“Sometimes the grass isn't always greener, that's what you've got to work out as fans, we've got a great chairman here who's Middlesbrough born and bred and who loves the football club.”

Gibson is generally highly regarded by supporters of rival clubs, and Woodgate added: “That's what they always say, even fans of the opposition team, 'You've got a great chairman there'.

“I think a lot of clubs would love our chairman, even some of the clubs who are foreign owned. They (the fans) don't even know who's in charge sometimes. They prefer the guy on the doorstep who they know and I think a lot of clubs don't have that now.”