Following a quick round up of the week’s business news a 20 minute interview with the man who controlled MFC for 15 years followed. Most of the chat was about the workings of Hamilton Portfolio and the collapse of Zoom but a few minutes were set aside to talk about the club.
Douglas Fraser was asking the questions.
DF: You’re majority shareholder over the past 15 years. You’ve invested at least £10M on it, shoring the club up at times and you’re now handing over the shares to fans’ based ownership. What had been the appeal to you of being involved in football?
JB: Motherwell’s always been a love rather than a business. I put a lot of money into the club and was pleased to do so. Now is the time for clubs like that to take care to take care of their own affairs so the supporters have the power and the responsibility, that’s the change. I think we’ve been pioneering with the Industrial Society model that we’ve adopted. I think it’s been copied by a few clubs in England. We’re delighted about that and the process is well underway and will continue as we hand over an increasing number of shares. Motherwell now has a sinking fund, a fighting fund so should they hit a buffer it’s not fatal.
DF: You’re giving away these shares, making a significant loss on them. What do you feel you’ve achieved in your time there?
JB: It was never planned to be a huge business venture. It was planned to put something back into the community. Remember that at the time I made my initial investment and bought the club Motherwell had just been devastated by the closure of Ravenscraig so in a very small measure I was able to get a bit of dignity back into the town by making sure that the football club could prosper which broadly speaking , it has.
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