Motherwell owners ‘have alternative’ after outside investment call and launch member vote

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The Well Society insists that fan-ownership has worked

Motherwell’s controlling Well Society believes it has “an alternative plan to outside investment” after the fan-owned club launched a campaign to attract new money in January.

The Scottish Premiership outfit received eight notes of interest.

But the Well Society stresses that “club finances are stable” and that the club is “not for sale”.

And it has asked members to vote on whether or not they are willing to relinquish their majority shareholding.

“In all prospective scenarios put to us at this time, the Well Society would no longer be the majority shareholder,” it reveals in a letter to members who control 71% of shares.

“With a full-strength board now in place and a fresh plan to engage fans, maximise membership and raise funds, the society board is of the opinion it is in a position to prepare an alternative plan to outside investment.

“This plan would include looking at membership contributions, maximising revenue and other income streams.”

The non-binding vote, which has a Wednesday deadline, is designed to “test the water” and help the Well Society “formulate a negotiating position” after interim chief executive Derek Weir and chairman Jim McMahon, alongside the club board, assessed investment enquires and met interested parties.

“No decision has yet been made on whether any of the proposals should be recommended to Well Society members as owners of Motherwell FC to consider,” it states.

Weir and McMahon had both stressed in recent months the need to consider other sources of income.

However, the Well Society says: “We are not in a position where fan ownership has demonstrably ‘failed’ and the investment must be secured to ‘save’ the club.

“However, the landscape of Scottish football is changing. With ageing stadium infrastructure, increased competition for players from clubs we would consider ourselves on a par with, and rising running costs, the club need to start looking now at what is possible.

“It costs a minimum of £6m to run all aspects of the club efficiently, with approximately half of that spent on the first-team squad and management.

“Assuming that we finish 10th in the SPFL, exit the group stage of the League Cup or fourth round of the Scottish Cup and have no player sales (as these are not guaranteed) our income would be roughly £5m to £5.5m. This leaves a likely funding gap of around £750,000.

“Over its lifetime, the society has raised more than £1.7m (net) from supporters and has pioneered fan ownership in the top-flight of UK football. But we can’t rest on our laurels.”

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