Motherwell FC News – Jan 1999
Motherwell FC News
In today’s Sunday Mail, John Boyle announces that the testimonial matches promised to former players Dougie Arnott and Chris McCart by previous chairman John Chapman will go ahead. The same article reports that John Spencer is ready pledge himself to Motherwell for the rest of his career.
Another report suggests that we are interested in 19-year-old Queen’s Park right winger Kevin Finlayson, who is also being watched by Kilmarnock, Celtic and Clydebank
John Spencer has completed his move from Everton to Motherwell after both clubs agreed an undisclosed fee for the striker. Negotiations had broken down after Motherwell failed to agree a price with the English club, but the deal has been resurrected after a slight increase in ‘Well’s bid. Spencer has agreed a two-and-a-half year contract to stay at Fir Park. Chief executive Pat Nevin believes the signing of Spenny will lift the gloom that had descended over Fir Park since his departure. He said:
"This is good news all round, good for him and us because we wanted him and he likes it here. He has made a real difference and the fans and players were very upset when it looked like he wasn’t joining us. There was a real gloom about the place, but happily the signing is on which is superb for us."
Boss Billy Davies said:
"He has proved a big hit on and off the field and we are delighted."
Earlier in the day, Scotland boss Craig Brown had indicated that the breakdown of Spencer’s move to Motherwell could have cost him the Scotland recall he craved. Brown said:
"He was absolutely in my thoughts after the way he’d been playing for Motherwell, especially since we don’t have too many options up front. "His form was excellent and he showed a real zest for the game. However, Spenny is the type of player who needs to play regularly. He’s a lively lad who relies on being nippy in and around the box and you can only maintain that by playing week in, week out. I hope for everyone’s sake something can be sorted."
In the same newspaper atricle, Ged Brannan branded Everton’s treatment of Spencer as "a disgrace".
Lee McCulloch revealed in today’s Sun that John Spencer had helped choose a new club song, "Jump Around" by House of Pain. Spenny felt the stadium needed livening up when the teams ran out and has now persuaded the tannoy announcer to play the rap hit before every match.
John Spencer’s move to Motherwell has collapsed as the club couldn’t match Everton’s asking price of around £750,000. Taking Spenny’s wages into account, the deal would have cost Motherwell £1.6 million over two years, too expensive for a club with an annual turnover of just £2.5 million. Speaking in today’s Daily Record, Spenny said:
"I’m absolutely gutted this has fallen through – I can’t pretend any different. Things have not worked out so I’ll just have to go back down the road and be professional about it. I have another two-and-a-half years on my contract at Goodison, so I’ll sit it out then leave on a free transfer. I have made up my mind that I won’t sign for any other club down south. As things stand, I realise that means I could spend this time without playing any football but I’m prepared for that. I’m a professional and I’ll go in every day and enjoy doing traning. Maybe I’ll get the odd game for the reserves and I’ll just have to make do with that. I’ve made it clear I won’t leave them for any club but Motherwell and I’ll stand by that decision no matter what."
Motherwell boss Billy Davies said:
"We upped our offer several times but they refused to budge. There was nothing more we could do. Forget about what money was due to John Spencer. The problem is that Everton were determined not to move. Believe me, we made them a fantastic offer but they simply would not bend. Considering their turnover is £40m compared to our £2.5m, I would have thought common sense would prevail, but that’s clearly not the case. I’m uspet for our support because they badly wanted to see Spenny staying here, and so did I. Let’s face it, how do you replace John Spencer? We will just have to try our best and remember that we are not a one-man-team, but there’s no hiding our disappointment."
Spencer went on to say:
"I want to thank Billy and the chairman John Boyle for giving me the chance to enjoy my football again. They gave me a platform to show that I can still play and I’ve had a magnificent time. It started well when we beat Rangers in my first game and it ended well with a Scottish Cup win over Hearts so I can’t complain. I’d also like to say thanks to the fans who were superb. They should know that Motherwell made a fair offer to sign a player who will not even get a place on Everton’s bench. If they had offered any more it would have been mad money."
Ricky’s report of the Hearts game is now available.
According to the Sun, Billy Davies fears he’s losing the battle to keep John Spencer at Fir Park. Everton are willing to let him go for £500,000, but hopes of pushing the deal through could rest on Spenny agreeing to give up a £200,000 loyalty bonus he is due under his contract when he quits Goodison. Spenny is willing to take a cut in salary to join Motherwell, so it might be unreasonable to expect him to forego £200,000 as well. If Motherwell have to come up with what effectively would be a £700,000 package, that would put the player way out of our price range. However, if Spenny returns to Everton, the English club will will have to pay more than £1 million in wages to keep him in the reserves as Walter Smith considers him surplus to requirements. They would also have to pay him his £200,000. A delegation from Motherwell will travel to Merseyside today hoping to talk Everton around, but Billy Davies said:
"The situation doesn’t appear too favourable. Spenny is 100% in his desire to stay. But it’s now down to the two chairmen to discuss a fee and I think it will take a couple of days before we have an answer. But at the moment it looks like he’ll have to go back to Everton."
Motherwell will face either Hibernian or Stirling Albion at Fir Park in the 4th round of the Scottish Cup. The tie is scheduled for Saturday, February 13.
The Daily Record reports that we have no injury worries for tomorrow’s cup tie, but Jamie McGowan and Kevin Christie are both suspended. Andy Goram is expected to make his debut.
The Sun reports that Motherwell have brought French striker Herve Bacque over to Fir Park for a few days training. The 22-year-old Monaco ace will remain at the club until next week when Billy Davies will make a decision on his future.
Fans favourite Miodrag Krivokapic had returned to Fir Park to help out with training. Mio parted company with Hamilton Accies last week
Today is my birthday!!!
Let’s hope Motherwell make it a happy one by gubbing the Jambos tomorrow.
Mikko Kaven has signed for Norweigian side Valerenga in a £50,000 deal. The 23-year-old Finn was signed six months ago by Harri Kampman, but he failed to impress and his days were numbered when Andy Goram joined the club.
The Sun claims that Motherwell are set to land John Spencer for £500,000. The report says that Everton are willing to slash the £1 million fee they had been demanding – if Motherwell come up with the money immediately. Spenny’s loan deal expires after the Hearts game on Sunday, and the 29-year-old is prepared to give up £250,000 he is still owed in signing on fees to try and speed up his exit.
Read what American journalist Mark Zeigler had to say about Pat Nevin’s unique player/chief executive role in the San Diego Union-Tribune
John Spencer is in the papers AGAIN! This time, he is praising the team’s battling qualities and team spirit, which in his opinion make them the SPL’s answer to Wimbledon. The report also says that Spenny is expected to be offered a permanent deal soon – despite Everton’s £1 million price tag. Billy Davies hopes Spenny won’t be his only new signing over the next couple of weeks, saying:
"We want to continue building the squad, and the more we can add the better. There’s a lot of good quality professionals here and I’m looking to add one or two more – starting with Spenny."
Sunday’s cup tie against Hearts is pay at the turnstiles, and with both clubs sharing the gate money, full prices apply.
Motherwell face Morton at Fir Park in the BP Youth Cup on Sunday, January 31 with a 2pm kick-off.
Bad news regarding Motherwell’s attempt to sign John Spencer permanently. Reports suggest that Everton are now demanding £1 million for him. Spenny, who has been on loan since October, is prepared to take a wage cut and sacrifice three signing-on fees to clinch a move to Fir Park. But if the deal collapses, newspaper reports claim he could sit tight at Goodison for two years then walk away for nothing in retaliation. Spencer is known to be privately seething at the price Everton have put on his head, but would only say:
"I only hope Everton see sense and we can get this deal settled because I want to move to Motherwell"
John Boyle is set to offer the players a massive bonus if they can end their away-day jinx. The team have still to win a league game away from home this season, indeed we went through the whole of 1998 without an away win. Boyle, who has also promised the players move cash for a cup run, said said:
"We have a few away games coming up on the trot and it’s a testing time, so it would be a good idea to have a bonus just to get that first win."
The Daily Record reports that Motherwell’s winter break in Tenerife has not all gone to plan. The squad have been banned from training on the only grass pitch in their resort. The local stadium has just had new turf laid and bosses ruled out any chance of using it before next Sunday’s opening ceremony. The players have had to settle for using a running track, going on runs around the local golf course, working out in gyms and training on a floodlit gravel pitch.
Rob Matthaei has more reason than most to welcome the winter break. The Dutch midfielder has revealed he became a hate figure in Holland a few years ago when he was playing with Grafschaap and clashed on an icy pitch with then Ajax star Marc Overmars. The international star slipped during a tussle, tore knee ligaments and was ruled out for a whole season, leaving his Euro 96 dreams in tatters.
The club are planning a youth tournament in memory of Andy Thomson, who died last year from a rare heart illness.
New Motherwell signing Andy Goram insists he will never play for his country again. Scotland boss Craig Brown has suggested that the 34-year-old could return to the international scene despite his controversial walk-out in America before the World Cup Finals last summer. But Goram is unhappy at the coach’s claims he tried to stop him quitting the squad, and says he won’t return because the move would not be accepted by players or fans.
John Boyle is backing plans to increase the length of the mid-winter break next season. Speaking in today’s Sunday Post, he says:
"The season really needs to be extended much more into the nice sunny spring evenings which lie ahead. That would be better commercially for clubs like Motherwell, and I don’t think the fans would have any complaints once they got used to it. Look what happened at Fir Park at the end of August when we played Dundee United in a live television game. I’m the first to admit it didn’t look the most attractive fixture on the card, and those who wanted to see it could have watched it from their living-rooms. But on a nice afternoon, 11,500 turned up and paid themselves into the game. Can you imagine how many would have been there in a wet, soggy, cold afternoon in the dead of winter?"
Another report reveals that John Boyle didn’t know the club had signed Andy Goram until he cam back from holiday. Boyle said:
"I only knew about this deal when I arrived home at Glasgow. But the people here are enpowered to do things and I have complete trust in both our manager Billy Davies and Pat Nevin."
Heavy rain has washed out Motherwell’s training camp in the north of Tenerife, but the team have found places to train in the south where they are staying. They have also been making use of the gym at their five-star hotel.
Reports suggest that a deal has been struck with Andy Goram that will see him being offered a two-year contract if he plays in at least 90% of the fixtures between now and the end of the season.
The squad flew out to Tenerife on Thursday for a five-day training session, and Billy Davies hopes to complete the signing of John Spencer when they arrive back in Scotland next week. The transfer fee, which will probably be in the region of £600,000, will see Spencer become the club’s record signing.
Motherwell have signed former Rangers goalkeeper Andy Goram until the end of the season. The 34-year-old has had brief stints at Notts County and Sheffield Utd since leaving Ibrox.
Reports suggest that Everton boss Walter Smith is considering taking John Spencer back to Goodison at the end of his loan period.
Today’s Motherwell Times reports that Billy Davies and John Boyle will meet with Everton chiefs in an attempt to thrash out a deal to sign John Spencer on a permanent basis. The 26-year-old, whose loan spell runs out at the end of this month, has been a tremendous asset since arriving in October and has made it clear that he would like to stay.
However, the Daily Record claims that a lack of available strikers at Everton may force Spencer back to Goodison Park.
The cup tie against Hearts is almost certain to be switched to Sunday, January 24 to acommodate Sky Television.
Ricky’s match reports from over the festive period are now available.
Motherwell will play Hearts at Fir Park in the third round of the Scottish Cup. The tie will take place on Saturday, 23 January, which is also my birthday!
Last month’s news
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