August 2002 Wednesday, August 14
Roberto Martinez has rejected a long-term deal with English First Division side Walsall as it could affect his battle for compensation with Motherwell. He said:
“I would have signed for longer, but contracts don’t mean much now – that was shown at Motherwell. I will continue to fight for compensation, but nothing is likely to be achieved until the club comes out of administration.”
Reports suggest that Middlesbrough, Leeds and Spurs are ready to battle it out for the signature of James McFadden, after Bayer Leverkusen dropped their interest because they believed they were being used as a starting point for an auction. Leverkusen sports manager Ilya Kaenzig confirmed that he had been in touch with Motherwell and been told that McFadden would be sold to the highest bidder. He said:
‘That was unacceptable to us, and we will not be taking our interest any further. It is a pity, because our coach Klaus Toppmoller had identified McFadden as the sort of young player who would have suited us and fitted in very well. We already have some excellent young players coming through and he could have had a big future with us. But we will not get involved in a bidding war. If those three English clubs want to, it is up to them.”
Meanwhile, Motherwell administrator Bryan Jackson said today that unless McFadden is sold, the club would only be able to make loan signings before the transfer deadline. Jackson also insisted there had been no contact from any other clubs:
“The speculation has been without foundation. Bayer Leverkusen made no contact whatsoever with the club. Our stance at the moment is that it is not in our interest to sell him. But our squad is two or three players down because of injuries at the moment and we are looking to add a couple of players before the transfer window at the end of the month. If we were to sell McFadden then it would allow us to bring other players in but our intention is to keep the squad together. So we are looking to take a couple of players on loan at the moment.”
Jackson added that negotiations to buy the club from former chairman John Boyle were still taking place:
“We are still exchanging information at the moment. It is grinding along slowly but it is moving forward. I think it will be a couple of months before we will know if we have a deal.”
He also stated that there is no reason why the club shouldn’t avoid relegation this year:
“Really we should have no excuses about staying up. We are probably paying the second lowest wages in the division as I would think Partick Thistle are paying less. So we should finish 11th at least.”
The Evening Times reports that Motherwell are set to appoint highly-rated SFA coach Graham Diamond are our new Youth Coach. Diamond, who has also coached at Celtic and Partick Thistle, has been working in the background at Fir Park over the last few weeks, and is now set to join the club on a full-time basis.
Speaking in today’s local press, Terry Butcher looks ahead to Saturday’s match with Kilmarnock and says he would be more than happy to settle for the same result we achieved on our last visit to Rugby Park, the memorable 4-1 win in April:
“I would definitely be more than happy if we came way with the same result, but Im just looking forward to going back. Obviously, it has mixed emotions, not just for myself, but a few of the players as well, because of what happened when the club was placed into administration just before this game last season. The players put on an exceptional performance that day given the circumstances and, hopefully, they can display the same energy levels and effort which produced such a good result for us last time. However, Kilmarnock have taken four out of six points at the start of the season, so we are under no illusions as to how difficult its going to be. They have played really well in their first two games and to come back from a goal down at Tannadice last week against Dundee Utd and claim all three points shows just what a good team they are. Jim Jeffries has brought a few of his former players back to Rugby Park, so he knows what to expect from them and theyre certainly doing the business for him just now.”
“Last Saturday, we had the rare feeling of being favourites to beat Partick Thistle and this seemed to make the players nervous and tense. After our performance against Livingston the previous week, the fans expectations were high, so its going to be nice to get back to normality in a way when we play Kilmarnock because we will definitely be the underdogs at Rugby Park. To be honest I think thats the way the players, as well as myself, prefer it.”
On the injury front, Derek Adams is back after a two-match suspension, but we will once again be with out new signings Daniel Sengewald and Khaled Kemas, who is still a few weeks away from being fit. However, Sengewald should be fit for the trip to Tannadice a week on Sunday, and Butcher added:
“Daniel is now back in training and although hes not going to make the Kilmarnock game, he should be fit for the trip the following week to Dundee Utd.”
Another player back in training is David Clarke, following an off-the-ball incident in last week’s “friendly” against junior side Bellshill Athletic. Butcher said:
“David is back in training and the swelling on his face has now went down, although he still has a black eye. Ive spoken to the board and Davids parents about the incident and Im still waiting to hear whether any action is going to be taken.”
Time for a new Opinion Poll!
Will Motherwell avoid the drop this season?