Motherwell FC News – May 1997
Motherwell FC News
The Sun reports that Dundee are set to sign Billy Davies for £50,000.
The Motherwell Times reports that the club is still up for sale with no-one so far coming up with an offer to meet John Chapman’s asking price, thought to be upwards of £2 million. Secretary Alan Dick confirms that offers have been made, but nothing which Chapman feels he can accept.
The complete list of players who are out of contract and have been offered new terms is as follows: Scott Howie, Steve Woods, Brian Martin, Shaun McSkimming, Dougie Arnott, Alex Burns, Mickey Weir and Simo Valikari. None of the players have signed new deals while the future of the club remains uncertain.
A report in last Friday’s Daily Express claimed that Chapman will only sell the club if the new owners agree to keep Alex McLeish as manager. Another report claims that Motherwell are interested in Raith goalkeeper Scott Thompson, who is available on a free transfer.
Newspaper reports suggest that the proposed takeover by the English software company has fallen through.
Shaun McSkimming is another player who is out of contract this summer, and he is rumoured to have received several offers from abroad.
The Sun reports that Mickey Weir is set to sign a new two-year contract with Motherwell. Icelandic goalkeeper Olafur Gottskalksson could also sign on after impressing Alex McLeish in a trial.
In yesterdays’s Motherwell Times, former club chairman Ian Livingstone denied reports that he was leading a consortium of local businessmen who are attempting to take over the club.
It appears that Hamilton Accies will NOT be playing their home games at Fir Park next season. As Motherwell’s Premier League safety is secure, we will be keeping a reserve team next year and it was decided that the pitch would be unable to cope with such a large number of games. Accies are expected to play at Cliftonhill again next year.
The club have announced an increase in Season Ticket prices for 1997/1998. Prices are as follows:
East Stand £176.00 £88.00Davie Cooper Stand £192.00 £95.00D.C. Stand Family Section Parent & Child £240.00, plus an additional£48.00 for every other child.Main Stand £208.00 £105.00
As usual, the club are offering a 10% discount on tickets purchased before Saturday 5th July. Prices subject to the discount are:
East Stand £158.40 £79.20Davie Cooper Stand £172.80 £85.50D.C Stand Family Section Parent & Child £216.00, plus an additional£48.00 for every other child.Main Stand £187.20 £94.50
General admission prices for 1997/1998 are:
East Stand £11.00 £5.50Davie Cooper Stand £12.00 £6.00D.C. Stand Family Section Parent & Child £15.00, plus an additional£3.00 for every other child.Main Stand £13.00 £6.50South Stand (away fans only) £12.00 £6.00
The club have also announced a pre-season tour of England, featuring matches against Ashington on Saturday 19th July (3pm), Carlisle Utd on Tuesday 22nd July (7.45pm) and Hartlepool on Thursday 24th July (7.30pm). Our home friendly on Saturday 26th July will be against Aston Villa, with Stan Collymore expected to make his Villa debut.
Newspaper reports suggest that Queens Park Rangers are interested in Mitchell Van der Gaag.
Some news stories from the past week…
- A report in the Daily Record suggests that an English software firm are attempting to buy the club for £2.5 million. The company are hoping to take over by the end of the month, and Alex McLeish is playing a key role in the takeover having introduced the firm to John Chapman. The report also states that former chairman Ian Livingstone is leading another consortium of local businessmen who are preparing a SECOND takeover bid, although the English firm seem favourites to succeed.
- English 1st Division side Reading are reported to want Alex McLeish as their new manager. McLeish and assistant manager Andy Watson are out of contract on June 30, but club secretary Alan Dick hopes that McLeish will agree a new deal within the next few days.
- Not only are Alex McLeish and Andy Watson out of contract, but Scott Howie, Steve Woods Brian Martin, Shaun McSkimming, Micky Weir and Simo Valikari will also become free agents this summer. Brian Martin is flying out to Germany for trials with 1st Division club Stuttgart Kickers, and as with Paul Lambert and Rob McKinnon last summer, Motherwell would receive no fee if Martin signs for the Germans. Martin states he is disappointed that Motherwell have made no mention of a new deal, although Alex McLeish claims that now Premier safety is secured he is ready to talk terms with Martin and the other out-of-contract players. McLeish also states in today’s Motherwell Times that he will refuse permission for Martin to play in any more trial games as he is still under contract with the club until the end of the month. It appears that Simo Valikari will not be signing a new deal – see the Gossip Page for more details.
- Fraser Wishart and Roy Essandoh have both been given free transfers.
- Motherwell are one of several clubs reported to be interested in Aberdeen defender Brian Irvine, who has recently been given a free transfer by the Pittodrie club.
- Motherwell hope to arrange a pre-season tour in the north of England, and are trying to attract a big Premiership side to Fir Park for a pre-season friendly, possibly on Saturday July 26.
English 2nd Division side Blackpool are reported to be interested in ‘Well goalkeeper Scott Howie, who is out of contract in the summer.
Kilmarnock drew 0-0 with Celtic last night to go above Motherwell on 38 points and leave Hibs in the play-off position.
Yesterday’s amazing win at Ibrox means that Motherwell’s fate is now in their own hands. A win against Dunfermline at Fir Park on Saturday would mean that Motherwell would avoid the play-offs at the expense of either Hibs or Kilmarnock. All three teams are on 37 points, but Motherwell have by far the superior goal difference. Kilmarnock still have two games to play – away to Celtic tomorrow night and then home to Aberdeen on Saturday – while Hibs final game of the season is away to Raith Rovers.
Airdrie made sure of their play-off spot with a 0-0 draw against East Fife at the weekend. Alex McLeish was an interested spectator at the match.
Hamilton Accies are reported to be interested in playing their home games at Fir Park next season.
For Monday’s vital match against Rangers at Ibrox, Motherwell will be without Willie Falconer, who is out for the rest of the season with a broken jaw. Billy Davies and Kevin Christie will also be missing through suspension but Alex Burns is available again after a two-match ban, and Shaun McSkimming could be back after injury. All tickets for the match, which is live on Sky TV, have now been sold.
Lee McCulloch was stretchered off while playing for the Scotland Under-21s on Tuesday night and so could be out of action for a while.
Last month’s news