Steve Gibson insists Middlesbrough’s biggest risk is still under-performing on the football pitch after the club revealed record £35m losses.

Boro’s finances have been significantly hit by the Covid-19 pandemic because of a slump in income also caused by an end to Premier League parachute payments.

The latest set of accounts for the year to June 30, 2020 highlights how income nose-dived to £19m from £55m the previous year.

And the double blow of being hit with the pandemic and the end to the parachute payments led to a pre-tax loss of £35.5m compared to a profit of £2m a year earlier.

There were job cuts following the impact of the coronavirus and the accounts outlined how the empty Riverside Stadium on match-days had played a direct role too.

The accounts stated: "Government restrictions imposed on football stadia to tackle social distancing have significantly impacted the company's ability to generate income in its usual manner.

"The company was forced to make redundancies in August 2020 and significantly reduce the size and cost of its playing squad to reduce its cost base to partially offset the significant reduction in income.”

Following last season’s battle against relegation, Neil Warnock has steadied the ship this time around and they are five points adrift of a play-off place ahead of Saturday’s trip to Millwall.

Warnock’s decision to commit to another year as manager has brought a degree of stability but clearly everyone connected with the Teesside club wants to see the supporters back in a safe environment.

The accounts outlined how £581,000 was received from the government’s furlough scheme towards the end of that tough first season in charge for Jonathan Woodgate when he was replaced by Warnock.

The reality is that the ongoing restrictions which have led to Middlesbrough playing behind-closed-doors this season will also have an impact on next year’s financial figures too.

And Middlesbrough chairman Gibson indicated that the club’s biggest financial risk is “failing to perform competitively in the league in which it competes”.

It has been long understood that Gibson’s financial support to Middlesbrough remains vital.

The Gibson O’Neill Company Limited, the parent undertaking of the club, continues to provide support as and when required. It is reported that Gibson’s total investment now stands at £205m.

The latest losses included gate receipts falling from £6m to £4.5m because of the nine games played without fans before June 30. Broadcasting revenue also dropped from £6.2m to £4.5m and merchandising fell from £2.3m to £1.3m.

Despite the cut-backs and the absence of fans because of the pandemic, Middlesbrough have still managed to stay in touch with the top six under Warnock this season.

Before the back-to-back home wins against Stoke and Preston this week, he was furious at some of the decisions that cost his side dearly at Swansea earlier this month.

Warnock has now been charged with improper conduct by the FA for his comments to the media after the 2-1 defeat at the Liberty Stadium.

He was incensed by referee Gavin Ward’s decisions when the officials missed a tackle on Anfernee Dijksteel that ended his season. He was then furious that Ward disallowed a Middlesbrough goal before awarding Swansea a controversial late penalty.

A FA statement read: “Neil Warnock has been charged with a breach of FA Rule E3 in relation to Middlesbrough FC’s match against Swansea City FC in the EFL Championship on Saturday March 6 2021.

“It is alleged that comments made by the manager during a post-match interview constitute improper conduct as they questioned the integrity of the match official and/or implied bias and/or were personally offensive and/or bring the game into disrepute contrary to FA Rule E3.1. Neil Warnock has until March 22 2021 to provide a response to this charge.”