Fans Put Money Where Their Mouths Are

02 April 2012 03:43
Replacing the support of a millionaire is not easy but Motherwell are on their way to do just that.

Motherwell fans are planning to take on ownership of their club and have exceeded the initial £250,000 target set by their Well Society scheme. The club have raised £335,375 so fare from supporters to purchase the shares offered to the club  by outgoing chairman John Boyle after launching membership plans in January. By the end of last month a total of 927 members, 664 of them with voting rights, have signed up  to make the scheme viable. The society will now be formally constituted and will elect two members to sit on the club's board of directors while more members are sought. Chief executive Leeann Dempster said: "The supporters of Motherwell Football Club have stepped up and shown they have the passion, desire and self belief to make Motherwell a successful, sustainable fan-owned club. The support for the society idea has overwhelmed us and we are hugely proud of the success to date. But it is only stage one. We need to emphasise to everyone that we need to keep recruiting and keep raising funds. Crucially, every fan will also agree that we must demonstrate an exemplary ability to run orderly elections to the board and to bring forward candidates of ability and integrity that can be entrusted with the future of the club. We have come a long way however, and our optimism as a board remains. It is a tough trading environment but our club is improving its position. We have complete belief in this idea but will retain a laser focus in ensuring it is implemented in a way that will secure Motherwell's best future."The Motherwell board have reiterated that they plan to develop a £1.5million "strategic reserve" to replace the personal wealth of Boyle, which helped them through cashflow problems in the past. This figure will be kept under review given the "prevailing trading and strategic position of the club and the league".