Motherwell FC News – Oct 1998
Motherwell FC News
Ricky’s match report of the Rangers game is now available.
Motherwell will be without injured pair Brian McClair and Greig Denham for tonight’s game against Rangers. John Spencer and Ged Brannan are added to the squad.
The club will once again be reducing admission prices for the Aberdeen game on Saturday. Prices are £8.00 for adults, £4.00 for OAPs/students and £2.00 for children.
Motherwell have completed the signing of Manchester City midfielder Ged Brannan in a £378,000 deal. The 26-year-old midfielder has agreed a three-year contract. Brannan joined Man City from Tranmere Rovers 18 months ago for £750,000, but has failed to figure in the first team this season. A move back to Tranmere after a loan spell last year fell through and the Liverpool-born player also had an extended loan period at Norwich this season.
We have also signed ex-Scotland striker John Spencer on loan from Everton until the end of the season, with a view to securing a permanent move.
Motherwell’s home game against Kilmarnock, scheduled for Saturday January 2nd, has been moved to 6.05pm on Friday January 1st to accommodate SKY Television.
Ricky’s match report of the St Johnstonegame is now available. BTW if anyone passed a broken down blue Peugeot 106 on the road up to Perth, it was me. Unfortunately, we still made it there in time for the game 🙁
Today’s papers report that Motherwell now want out of the deal to sign Finnish defender Harri Ylonen. The 26-year-old agreed a pre-contract deal with Harri Kampman and was due to join the club next month in a package that would cost around £200,000. Now Ylonen’s agent is looking for compensation. Pat Nevin is believed to be taking legal advice.
Absolutely nothing to do with Motherwell, but at least it gives me the chance to include some good news for a change. Click here to find out how I’m getting on in the BBC Sweepstake league table.
Today’s Sunday Mail claims that Harri Kampman was given £90,000 to keep his mouth shut over his bust-ups with Pat Nevin. Kampman only went on the condition that the remaining 18 months of his deal were paid in full, and in return Boyle forced the coach to sign an agreement not to discuss his time at Motherwell. But Kampman told journalists in Helsinki that Nevin had interfeared with the team and destroyed his confidence, then amazingly backed down and claimed he had NO problems with him the following day. Boyle is now believed to be considering action against the Finn for breaching their pact. It has also emerged that Kapman cost the club £40,000 by signing German defender Holm Kraska, who never played for the club. He was bought from AMATEUR side Atlas Delmenhorst yet his agent was paid £16,000. Kraska’s one-year contract was paid in full and he has returned home to play in the Lower Saxony-Bremen League.
Another report claims that Billy Davies could make Leeds striker Derek Lilley his first signing, if the new Elland Road boss drops their £600,000 asking price. Lilley’s Premiership wage packet could also block a return to Scotland. St Johnstone are also believed to be interested.
A new background sound for you to enjoy – "You Just Haven’t Earned it Yet Baby" by The Smiths. I’m told it only works if you use Internet Explorer as your browser.
Today’s newspapers are full of conflicting reports as to why Harri Kampman resigned. According to the Daily Record, Kampman claims to have been forced out by chief executive Pat Nevin and is quoted as saying:
"I had no confidence at the club once Pat Nevin arrived. He made it very difficult for me to work properly and that’s why I had to leave. Everyone else was very friendly but Pat Nevin eroded my confidence when he came here and made the job very difficult. I didn’t want to come to do the job in the morning because I knew I would have problems dealing with Pat Nevin in the dressing room and speaking to him"
Nevin responded by saying:
"I can’t believe Harri has said these things. I wanted to speak to him because he surely must have been misquoted. He stressed to me at a half-hour meeting on Tuesday when he handed in his resignation that there were no problems between us."
Harri Kampman also says he has no immediate plans, although he has had a number of offers from clubs in Finland. The Record also claims that Harri received a £90,000 pay-off cheque from the club.
However, in today’s Herald, Kampman insists the reason he left is private and had nothing to do with Boyle or Nevin
Here’s how Daily Record reporter Ewing Grahame saw yesterday’s events at Fir Park…
There has been no shortage of major surprises in Scottish football in recent years. Mo Johnston’s decision to sign for Rangers registered highest on the Richter Scale but there have been others which ran it close. Graeme Souness leaving Ibrox for Anfield, for example. Dunfermline unearthing the one Brazilian who couldn’t play was another. Sadly, the resignation of Harri Kampman, when it was announced yesterday did not come into that category. Eyebrows were not raised and hearts did not beat a little faster when it was made public. Cynical pundits began writing his obituary when John Boyle took over Motherwell last month then brought Pat Nevin from Kilmarnock as player-chief executive.
Although Nevin was yesterday at pains to stress, for the umpteenth time since his arrival at FirPark, that Kampman was under no pressure to leave, his words fell on deaf ears. I believe him but hardened pros at Motherwell and elsewhere are convinced the writing was on the wall for Kampman once the new regime was put in place. However, if Kampmann’s departure had an air of inevitability about it, the alarmingly rapid promotion of Billy Davies to succeed him did cause heads to spin – not least the new coach’s own. The 34-year-old, who is younger than Nevin and Brian McClair, admitted he was "still in a daze" over his appointment by Nevin and Boyle. But he insisted he would not have taken the post on offer if he felt he was to be their puppet.
He would, he claimed, be very much his own man. Davies said: "I will have full responsibility for whoever comes and goes from here and total control over team selection. "That’s the main reason I took the job. It was one of the first things I put across to Pat and the chairman. "I’m my own man and I don’t want to have to answer to anyone else when it comes to signings. "I feel ready to step up into this position, although I’ve been slightly stunned by the events of the last 24 hours."
Chairman Boyle was in London attending a children’s charity event but Nevin claimed that Kampman refused to give a reason for his decision to quit. It does seem that no one was twisting his arm to stay in darkest Ianarkshire. There is a suggestion that he is returning to Finland to coach the national team but Richard MollerNielsen is currently in charge.
Even allowing for their defeat by Northern Ireland on Saturday, their start to the European Championship qualifiers has been a positive one. Kampman appeared to believe that, rightly or wrongly, his authority had been compromised by Nevin’s presence in the dressing room as well as the boardroom.
Davies, who has signed a two year contract with a one-year roll on, doesn’t suffer from that insecurity. He said: "Ive not thought about whether or not the chief executive will get a game against St Johnstone. "I’ll stay registered as a player but I’m hoping I never have to pick myself because I believe that combining the two is very difficult."
Nevin made the point that the new coach will be more "hands on" than his predecessor. He explained: "Harri would identify a position he would want strengthened and then we would go and come up with players. Billy will come up with his own names. "I appreciate that Billy may not be a name which will excite our supporters but once they get to know his qualities as well as we do they’ll be right behind him. "His understanding of the game and his willingness to work have impressed me since I came here and, when Harri told me he was leaving, it didn’t even occur to me to advertise the post. "I knew we had the right man for the job here-I’ve known Billy since we played against each other as 12year-olds. "Anyway, established managers tend to come with baggage and that’s not the case with Billy."
Jim Griffin, Kampman’s No.2, retains his position but personnel changes can be expected in the weeks to come.
Davies said: "Players who were previously out of the picture here will be given a fresh chance. Everyone starts from scratch. The four players Harri put on the transfer list – Kevin Christie, Mickey Weir, Eddie May and Eliphas Shiwte-have been taken off it.
"I intend to be very honest and fair with everyone at this club. I’ll give them respect and I expect them to show me the same. "Jim Griffin and I will make our assessments in the next fortnight but I’ve been told money is available for me to strengthen the squad. "I played in Europe for Motherwell and getting back there as manager is one of the challenges for me.
"But that’s just one of the ways in which I want to take this club forward. I want us to play positive football with a passing game which entertains our fans. "I have my own ideas about training and man-management and I intend to develop them. "We’ve got to look outwith the FA and Scottish methods. I hope to go abroad and study Continental clubs’ methods and gain as much knowledge a possible."
Davies, signed from Dunfermline five years ago and given the job of Under-21 coach by Kampman this summer, knows what to expect in the months ahead. He admitted: "Regardless of my age and lack of experience, I’ll be judged by my results in a tight and very demanding league." That’s for sure. Nevin, meanwhile, explained that the length and type of Davies’ contract is meant to give the latter the chance to put his ideas into practice without unduly worrying about the security of his position. A club giving a manager the time he needs to do his job as he sees fit? In this era of the soundbite and the quick fix, THAT really would be surprising.
But Owen Coyle tipped pal Davies to overcome inexperience and take management by storm. He said: "I’ve every confidence in Billy and Im sure he’ll go on do a very good job. "He may not have the experience as far as management goes but you need to start somewhere and he is full of enthusiasm. "He is a bubbly character with plenty of knowledge about football. "He’ll listen to players and deal with them like men and that should stand him in good stead.
"Billy has already spoken to everyone and all the lads realise it is a fresh start. Every player will be given a chance and it’s up to us to prove we’re good enough to stay part of Motherwell."
Despite Coyle’s happiness at the appointment of Davies, the striker feels sympathy for Kampman. He insisted no one at Fir park expected the Finn to leave at this stage and said: "It came as a shock. "We were told to report to a meeting but knew nothing of Harri’s decision. "He spoke to us and wished us all the best. It’s sad to see any person leave a club but that’s football. "I’ve been in the game for so long that nothing surprises me and we have to move on and think ahead."
Kampman resigns – Davies is new boss!!!
Harri Kapman today resigned as Motherwell manager, and has been replaced by under-21 coach Billy Davies.
34-year-old Davies steps up after impressing the board with the way he ran the junior team. He admitted to being shocked at his sudden rise to management, saying:
"I believe I am now ready for the challenge ahead although I am still slightly stunned with the activities of the past 24 hours. I aim to be honest with the players and hope they will be honest with me. I am delighted to be presented with this opportunity to coach a Premier League side for whom I have a lot of affection. Everyone on the staff will be given a chance to stake their claim."
Davies also insisted he would be fully responsibile for picking the team and signing new players.
Chief executive Pat Nevin claimed he was shocked by Harri Kampman’s decision to quit Fir Park, saying:
"The resignation took us by surprise. Harri had said he felt it was time he moved on and tendered his resignation, which after a brief talk with the board, we agreed to accept."
A Sunday newspaper reports that Eliphas Shivute will go on trial with English Premiership side Charlton Athletic.
FC Utrecht won this afternoon’s friendly 4-1, with Stephen Halliday scoring Motherwell’s goal.
The Daily Record reports that we are interested in Jose Quitongo of Hearts, who has been unable to hold down a regular first team place.
Eliphas Shivute has criticised Motherwell after claiming he didn’t know he had been transfer listed until he read it in an African newspaper.
The music you are currently listening to (provided your PC has a sound card) is "Asleep" by The Smiths. Don’t worry, this is unlikely to become a permanent addition to the site. I’m just mucking around.
Today’s Sun reports that we are set to sign Mark Reilly from Reading. The midfielder, who started his career at Fir Park in the 80’s, joined Reading on a free transfer from Kilmarnock in the summer, but has recently been dropped from the first team.
A Sunday newspaper reports that Hibs are interested in Kevin Christie, who has been transfer listed by Motherwell.
Another report claims that Alan Dick will leave the club on November 1 to become Partick Thistle’s new Chief Executive.
Motherwell’s friendly against FC Utrecht next weekend has been put back 24 hours, and will now kick off at 2.30pm on Sunday. This is due to crowd trouble at recent Utrecht night games.
Reports suggest that Owen Coyle will sign a new two-year contract next week which will keep him at Fir Park until he is 34.
Today’s Sun reports that Kevin Christie, Eddie May, Eliphas Shivute, Mickey Weir and German summer signing Holm Kraska have been transfer listed, apparently in an attempt to lower the wage bill before new players are brought in. It also appears that general manager Alan Dick is considering his position as many of his responsibilities have been diluted by the new management staff.
Last month’s news
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