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Saturday, April 24
Today’s result: Dunfermline 3, Motherwell 0.
Oh dear, we were humped 3-0 at East End Park this afternoon. TB made just one change to the team which beat Aberdeen last Sunday, with Kenny Wright replacing the injured Phil O’Donnell. This result looks like it has ended our chances of finishing 4th in the league table.
Team: Corr, Quinn, Corrigan, Craigan, Hammell, Lasley, Burns, Adams, Dair, Craig, Wright.
Subs: Marshall, Clarkson, Kevin McDonald, Fagan, Kinniburgh.
Radio Scotland reported this afternoon that Derek Adams will sign for Aberdeen at the end of the season. Adams himself is quoted in today’s Daily Express as saying:
“They (the club) indicated four or five months ago that they would make a decision on our futures once they found out where we were going to finish in the league, but we sealed our top 6 place last week and we’re still waiting to see what will happen. The players have done really well this season and I find it strange that the club hasn’t indicated whether or not they want to keep us. You would think they would want to get the futures of the players sorted out so they can build for next season. But the situation could also work to our advantage There are other clubs in England and Scotland who have expressed an interest in me, but I haven’t spoken to them because I want to see if Motherwell are going to offer me anything first”
There’s an excellent interview with Bryan Jackson in today’s Sun, in which the former Motherwell administrator makes the following points:
- John Boyle did the whole of Scottish football a favour by putting Motherwell into administration, as it was a wake-up call to other chairmen that football clubs were not invincible. Several other chairmen have told BJ they admired JB’s bravery and are forever in his debt because they set about getting their own clubs in order. BJ is quoted as saying:
“Had John Boyle not taken the course of action he did we might not have a football scene in this country today.”
- BJ believes that Motherwell got a particularly hard time from the media for going into administration compared to Dundee and Livingston, but says it was all down to the shock of the first Scottish club having to take this course of action.
- BJ also says that Motherwell fans have no idea how close the club came to folding forever:
“Our objective back in 2002 was to ensure the survival of Motherwell FC. I never imagined for a second it would take us two years. Given the history of the club and because of its relative success in recent years I thought we’d have little difficulty in finding a buyer. I was wrong. The White Knights have vanished over the horizon and after our first year I realised we had a real fight on to save the club. We did have one interested buyer, but he backed off quickly when he realised that for the short term the club would continue to lose money. At that point – towards the end of my first year – I don’t think the supporters appreciate how close Motherwell came to going out of business. I can admit that now.”
- Things were so bad that at one point, BJ opened a separate bank account for season ticket sales as supporters would have had to be paid back mid-season had the club gone to the wall.
- Had we been relegated last year, BJ says:
“It would have been the demise of the club. We would have to slash costs completely. Motherwell would have probably gone part-time and slipped away like other lower league clubs. Then we got lucky when Falkirk were denied promotion. I felt genuinely sorry for them, but the decision saved Motherwell. Fans must realise now how lucky we got.”
- He defended our decision to sign players last summer, just months after 10 of the squad were made redundant:
“We were criticised for signing players at the start of the season, but we’d cleared our playing staff and HAD to bring people in. We didn’t have a goalkeeper for goodness sake. We were well within our rights.”
- On the departures of McFadden and Pearson, he said:
“The sale of James and Stephen helped tremendously. Motherwell has always been a breeding ground – but for us to have the two best players this country has produced in the last ten years on our books was incredible good fortune.”
- Jackson believes that Terry Butcher should be manager of the year.
- On the club’s future, BJ added:
“Motherwell fans can look ahead with cautious optimism. We’re not carrying any debt any more. That has been wiped and the club has a second chance. But you have to realise Motherwell are a small club with a small hardcore support. Fans will always turn out and the club will always depend on them and the cup runs. They must also continue to produce young players – like every other provincial club”.
- Finally, Jackson says he is now a ‘Well fan for life!
Terry Butcher says he has put off his own contract talks to concentrate on keeping his current squad together. With David Clarkson, Keith Lasley, Stephen Craigan, Jason Dair, Scott McDonald, Gordon Marshall and Derek Adams all free agents in the summer, TB said:
“I’ve spoken to the board about my own position but I want to get the players sorted out first. The future of the club is not me – it’s the players and it always will be. If we can get the players sorted out and happy then we are doing well. The same goes for making new signings and putting together a shortlist. We will look at who re-signs first. I can’t say who is going to re-sign yet because we haven’t discussed the terms yet with the players.
“We know that clubs are looking at our players and they may want to take our players and pay more for our players. You do fear it but I will never knock a player for doing that. At 35 or 36 they cannot play at this level and won’t be able to pick up the money they do now. But I would hope that players will want to stay here because of the atmosphere we have at the club and because of the way that we want to play.”
And on being linked with the vacant manager’s position at Easter Road, TB added:
“I love my job here and it’s a fabulous club. It’s a club that is going forward and we’re laying the foundations for a good future here. That’s the most important thing for me at the moment. It’s a club that’s had a period of administration and there was a lot of pain and suffering at the start of that. We’ve all come through that and there is a respectful bond at the club now. Being at a club like this is very similar to when Bobby Robson started off at Ipswich. He always said that was very special and it’s very special here as well. We are all very happy here but we want to make it a success in the future and we’ve not done too badly so far but we want to keep that going. That’s what everybody wants.”
In a separate newspaper article, TB is quoted as saying:
“Motherwell’s income is the second lowest of any top-flight team in Scotland and so we are still going to have a tight budget. Even though we have come out of administration there is no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. So I have told the players who I want to stay and who can leave. Club officials will talk about finance with them now and try to agree new deals. But it is not just about who we want to stay. If another club comes in and offers out-of-contract players more money than us there is nothing we can do about it.”
Aberdeen manager Steve Paterson has admitted that he is interested in signing Derek Adams along with Livingston’s Derek Lilley. He is quoted as saying:
“We are looking to bring in two strikers and Lilley comes into the same category as Derek Adams. Lilley and Adams are both quality players who are out of contract and available in the summer.”
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