Motherwell FC News – June 2000
Motherwell FC News
Thursday, June 29
Today’s Sun reports that the £500,000 deal to buy Airdrie’s Shyberry stadium will be finalised by the weekend. The Sun claims that the deal will virtually pay for itself in just one season, with Airdrie, Hamilton, Albion Rovers and Celtic reserves interested in becoming tenants at around £100,000 a year. John Boyle will also be able to build on adjoining land and set up Motherwell’s football academy.
John Philliben is back at Fir Park in a coaching capacity to help Mickey Weir with the Under 21s and the under 18s.
The squad list for the new season is now available.
In this morning’s Motherwell Times, Billy Davies reveals he is still hopeful of signing both Greig Strong and Paul Reid. Motherwell’s initial £200,000 bid for Carlisle defender Reid was rejected, and Davies said:
“We have approached the club and put in a very good offer. There’s always that two or week period when people agree and disagree and at the moment it’s been knocked back. But as far as we’re concerned we are still hopeful something can be done. He would be a tremendous addition.”
Pre-season training started at Fir Park today, and the players head off for a trip to Sweden on July 15.
The new home strip will not now be available until Friday, July 7.
I’m heading off for the weekend, next update will be on Monday night.
Wednesday, June 28
Steve Archibald has hit out at Motherwell’s bid to buy the Shyberry Excelsior stadium, even though the move was initiated by Airdrie’s liqidators KPMG. The prospective Airdrie buyer said:
“It’s a case of somebody trying to pick an asset on the cheap. What happens to Airdrie when Motherwell buy the asset? Who’s going to pay £2million for a club with no asset? Nobody. So if they take the asset, Airdrie’s got nothing and the club goes to oblivion. Where’s the milk of human kindness in that?”
Tuesday, June 27
Today’s Sun reports that John Boyle wants to buy the Shyberry Excelsior stadium and then rent it out to Airdrie. Boyle and sidekick Andrew Lapping have reportedly held a series of talks with Airdrie administrators KPMG over the last month with a view to purchasing the stadium for around £500,000. Why does John Boyle want to buy Airdrie’s ground? Well, the Sun claims he has long-term plans to relocate the club to a new site, possibly near the former Ravenscraig steelworks, and Shyberry could be used as a temporary home.
In response to the above, the club released the following statement:
“Motherwell Football Club were approached by KPMG, the administrators of Airdrie. KPMG informed us that they were having difficulty finding someone who would buy the football team as well as purchasing the stadium.
Motherwell have advanced plans for establishing the Lanarkshire Centre of Footballing excellence adjacent to Fir Park.
The estimated cost of this is approximately £2.4m and would consist of a number of grass and all-weather pitches, a sports pavilion and astrodome. This development would be funded, in the main, from public funds.
It became clear that if Motherwell could purchase Shyberry Stadium, relocate its Academy there, whilst allowing the new owners of Airdrie Football Club to continue playing their games there, this would be a solution for everyone.
The option suggested by KPMG would allow Airdrie to continue to play in the Scottish League, provide a first class facility for lanarkshire’s footballing youth whilst saving the tax payer around £1m.
Motherwell will continue to have discussions with KPMG and, via them, any potential new owners of Airdrie football club with the aim of securing arrangements which are favourable to all parties.
KPMG’s proposal would potentially save Airdrie football team, the excellent Shyberry Stadium and provide a much needed Academy of Football for the Lanarkshire community.
The matter is very much in the hands of KPMG, Airdrie’s administrators. Motherwell will only be involved if invited to do so and with the full co-operation of all interested parties.
It should be stressed that, even at this late stage, should the administrators be able to find one buyer for the football club and the Shyberry Stadium, Motherwell will be happy to withdraw whilst wishing the new owners every success.”
Pat Nevin has welcomed the introduction of a second Champions League spot for Premier League clubs. UEFA has confirmed that the SPL runners-up will enter the competition at the second qualifying stage in 2001-2, but Pat stressed that Motherwell’s aim for the new campaign is a top six place before the cut-off point next season, before chasing a UEFA Cup place.
Monday, June 26
The club will be running a summer coaching course for 8-13 year olds at Fir Park from 3rd to 7th July. Contact Colin McKinnon on 01698 333333 for more details.
Thursday, June 22
The full fixture list for the coming season is now available.
Hearts manager Jim Jeffries has dismissed reports that he’s preparing a new bid for Lee McCulloch, saying he doesn’t have enough money for the deal! Guess the Sun must have been struggling for news yesterday.
The date of the Fir Park open day has been confirmed as Sunday, July 23.
Wednesday, June 21
Today’s Sun reports that Hearts are preparing a new £1.2m bid for Lee McCulloch. According to the report, the Edinburgh side are prepared to sell Gary Naysmith to finance the deal.
The Wishaw Press reports that the team will begin pre-season training next week with only one signed centre-half. Perhaps they’ve forgotten about Tony Thomas.
Tuesday, June 20
Check out the new Rumours page and keep the votes coming in the Player of the Year vote!
Monday, June 19
It is understood that Motherwell’s unsuccessful bid for Carlisle defender Paul Reid was in the region of £200,000. Billy Davies is now expected to turn his attentions to finalising a permanent deal for Greg Strong.
In a letter to season ticket holders, John Boyle says that extensive work on the pitch is now complete and the playing surface should cause no more problems. The letter also mentions that under-21 Youth Premier League matches will be played at Fir Park on Monday evenings next season, and season tickets will be valid for these games. Current season book holders have until July 10 to renew their seat.
Saturday, June 17
Motherwell’s offer for 18-year-old Carlisle defender Paul Reid was turned down by their chairman, Michael Knighton.
With regards to Greg Strong, there is no further news as Greg, Billy Davies and Bolton manager Sam Allerdyce are all currently on holiday, but Pat Nevin said:
“If we can get the big man we will, but as with any player we will not pay a price which we feel is inflated for our benefit.”
The club are currently finalising details of the next Open Day, scheduled for Sunday, July 23.
Friday, June 16
Today’s Daily Mail reports that Pat Nevin is currently involved in signing talks with former Rangers player Charlie Miller. Also, Teletext says we are interested in 18-year-old Carlisle defender Paul Reid.
Thursday, June 15
Season ticket prices for the new campaign has been announced. Details are as follows…
|Main Stand||Price||Gate Entry||Premium Gate||Cost per Season||Saving||%Saving|
|Cooper Stand||Price||Gate Entry||Premium Gate||Cost per Season||Saving||%Saving|
|Child (under 8)||£10||£5||£7||£104||£94||90%|
|Family Adult + Juvenile||£240||£19||£21||£384||£144||38%|
|Family Adult + Child||£220||£19||£21||£384||£164||43%|
|East Stand||Price||Gate Entry||Premium Gate||Cost per Season||Saving||%Saving|
Lanarkshire College students purchasing season tickets for the Davie Cooper stand will be given a 25% discount if they are first time buyers.
Our bid to buy Greg Strong from Bolton has now entered it’s fourth week without the move getting any closer to completion. Pat Nevin hopes to talk to Bolton’s management early next week once the defender returns from holiday.
Today’s Motherwell Times reports that we have signed goalkeeper John Connelly from junior side Thorniewood United.
The new-look Official MFC Site finally went online today.
Wednesday, June 14
The revamped Official Motherwell Web Page will be launched tomorrow, and is expected to include season ticket, open day and squad information for the coming season. The open day is provisionally planned for Sunday, July 23.
Pat Nevin has confirmed that Stephen Hammel has signed a three-year extension to his contract. Speaking today, Pat said:
“It’s great news for ourselves and Stephen. We’re delighted to see him sign as we have high hopes for him.”
Exiled ‘Well fans might be interested to know that BBC Scotland Online will be providing live web casts of every SPL match next season.
Tuesday, June 13
Today’s Greg Strong update: the defender has agreed personal terms with Motherwell but the club have yet to agree a fee with Bolton. The situation could be resolved shortly when Billy Davies returns from holiday.
A Mailing List rumour suggests that Leeds Utd are being lined up as the opposition for Dougie Arnott’s much delayed testimonial, to take place later this year or early 2001.
Monday, June 12
Motherwell are being linked with 18-year-old Hamilton Accies defender Ross McLaren.
Sunday, June 11
Today’s newspapers are reporting that Steve Hammel has signed a new three-year contract.
Saturday, June 10
The Greg Strong transfer saga continues. In this morning’s papers, Pat Nevin says he will make a personal bid to heal the rift with Bolton:
“I hope to speak with Bolton in the next few days and we will have a much clearer picture then. Sam (Allerdyce) obviously wants to get the deal done but, like most deals, there is some negotiation about the price. Greg is desperate to come to Motherwell and we want him here, so there are quite a lot of positives in the transfer.”
Friday, June 9
Former ‘Well midfielder Sasa Curcic claims in this morning’s Daily Record that he will be signing for Rangers this summer. However, Curcic has made a number of similarly bizarre comments in the past, and not surprisingly the story has been rubbished by Rangers chairman David Murray.
Today’s Record also confirms that ex ‘Well star Tommy Coyne has been freed by Dundee.
Thursday, June 8
Pat Nevin has hit back at Sam Allerdyce after the Bolton manager publicly criticized Motherwell over their handling of Greg Strong’s transfer. Nevin said he wouldn’t be conducting transfer business in the media and refused to get involved in a war of words with Allerdyce. Pat also pointed out that any deal with Bolton may have to wait until Billy Davies returns from holiday.
Supposed Motherwell target Paul Fenwick is reported to have signed for Hibs.
Wednesday, June 7
Ricky (a.k.a. The Oracle) reports that the club intend to use the grass pitch at Motherwell college for training, as the current facilities at Dalzell Park are proving prohibitive to hire. It is believed that Motherwell are spending around £8,000 on improvements to the pitch, which played host to many a game of “high ball” in my youth!
Rumours suggest that Motherwell are interested in Canadian defender Paul Fenwick, formerly of Morton and Raith Rovers.
Tuesday, June 6
The deal to sign Greg Strong has been put on hold as Motherwell are still reluctant to meet Bolton’s £200,000 asking price. Bolton manager Sam Allardyce has reacted angrily, saying:
“Motherwell know what the fee is from Greg. I do get irritated and it is not a scenario I like when, in good faith, I let a football club have one of my players. I wrote Greg off for three months and could not have called him back at any stage. I let him play in their first team on a regular basis. Now the club not only got our hopes up that they would sign him, but they got the player’s hopes up as well. I am sure Greg will be very disappointed that he will come back here and not be part of Motherwell’s first team. That is not our fault, but Motherwell’s.”
However, Pat Nevin insisted the club are still keen to sign Strong:
“I’ll contact Bolton today and find out the situation. We are still interested in Greg if the price is right for us. I’ll speak to Billy Davies today and find out more about it.”
Saturday, June 3
Worrying news from the Official Bolton web site. Apparently Motherwell are reluctant to meet their £200,000 asking price for Greg Strong.
Thursday, June 1
Today’s Motherwell Times reports that Billy Davies is hopeful of persuading Steven Hammell to sign a contract that will tie him to the club for a number of years. Davies has also fixed up 20-year-old Keith Lasley on a year’s contract.
Stevie Nicholas was an unused substitute in the Scotland under-21’s 1-0 win over Wales last night.
Newspaper reports suggest that Motherwell are stepping up the bid to sign Greg Strong.