July 2002 Wednesday, July 31
Newspaper reports suggest that our administrator is now talking to only one party who is interested in taking over the club after the initial interest waned. It is believed that a consortium fronted by local butcher Ian Adams is in detailed talks with Bryan Jackson about taking over the running of the club. Jackson said today:
"The initial interest has disappeared and we’re in talks with one serious bidder. Those talks are progressing but it is hard to put a limit on it. We hope to be able to give the party preferred bidder status over the next few weeks, but there are still a few other things to be addressed. We are a willing seller but there are a lot of uncertainties surrounding the Scottish game. Obviously things might be different if a television deal could be struck but everyone in Scotland has had to pull in their horns because of the economic climate that has hit the game. There was a lot of interest initially but that has fallen away. But you get that because some people think they are getting a bargain or, alternatively, are unable to meet the asking price for an SPL club. There are some other parties on the periphery but we are concentrating on one main candidate."
Meanwhile, in a separate statement, Bryan Jackson said today that our financial situation is now "stable" (presumably referring to the departure of Alisdair Barron), and that we should break even this season if not make a small profit. The full text of the statement, which appeared on the Official Site earlier today, reads as follows:
Motherwell Football Club is financially fit for the new season which begins this weekend, the club administrator, Bryan Jackson, and the board of directors announced today.
Mr Jackson said: "We can reassure our supporters that Motherwell Football Club is going into the new season on a sound financial footing. Despite discussions with various parties, a suitable buyer for the club has not yet been found. However, the difficult decisions taken by the board of directors in conjunction with me not only saved the club but ensured it is in good shape to meet the challenges of the forthcoming season.
"As other clubs are finding, finances will have to be strictly controlled but Motherwell is now living within its means and we expect it will at least break even over the next season. Strengthening the playing squad will depend on income from TV revenues and the attendances at matches. The number of people who turn up for games is a vital factor.
"The board of directors and myself have great faith in the playing squad and the coaching staff. We have some tremendous young players who are willing to give their all for the club and who will help mount a strong challenge in the SPL and cup competitions."
The 10 non-Old Firm SPL teams have announced they intend to resign from the league after failing to reach an agreement with Rangers and Celtic over the voting structure. However, the clubs have agreed a new £18 million TV deal with the BBC that will earn Motherwell around £600,000 a season for the next two years. Our administrator, Bryan Jackson, is quoted as saying:
"The 10 SPL clubs do intend to resign in the next 24 hours."
A few more details have emerged about last night’s 3-2 win at Arbroath. Firstly, we fielded virtually our Under-21 team while our hosts were at full strength, and our scorers were Darren Clark, Billy Kinnisburgh and Ian Russell.
Team: DuBordeau, Mathie, Quinn, Kinniburgh, Bell, Black (Clarkeson), McDonald, Fagan, Russell (Barkey), Jack (Wright), Clarke (Crawley)
Subs not used: Ewings Clarkson
Terry Butcher was delighted with the performance of his youngsters, and said after the match:
"They did very well in the first half and a couple of them will be on the bench on Saturday. With Shaun Fagan and Derek Adams suspended and Stephen Pearson injured there’s also the possibility of one starting."
Time for TWO new Opinion Polls…