Jim McMahon opened proceedings by confirming we were in the unusual position of currently having cash in the bank, there was no expectation of there being a “cash hole” during the usually difficult January to April period and this left us under no pressure to sell any of our on-field assets in the upcoming January window.
Next season promises to be financially better with increased television revenue and a higher UEFA solidarity payment thanks to the Champions League exploits of our friends from Parkhead – as long as we stay out of the bottom two this campaign...
There was an intimation that there was more than one external party who had expressed a interest in purchasing club shares, with one in particular keen to inject £50,000 into the club in return.
It was discussed that there were already some issues with The Well Society statement issued early in the day laying out the different boards, strategy for who made what decisions etc and that another statement on the subject would be released by the end of the week. This issue raised some differing feelings in the room as some felt the announcement was a fait accompli rather than proposing this model to the fans for consideration, whilst others felt it perfectly reasonable that such decisions should be made without consultation.
It was confirmed that more wide-ranging votes would be sought on broader matters for example, if a club was to be demoted down the leagues a la Rangers or if we were to consider moving site to Ravenscraig.
Alan Burrows and Mark McGhee confirmed that we would still consider paying small fees for players such as Louis Moult if it was felt beneficial for the club, and it is the manager’s call how he distributes his player recruitment budget between transfers fees and wage demands. The fee received for Marvin Johnson was the biggest incoming transfer fee the club has received since 2009 and our upcoming cup tie at Ibrox will see us net £84,000 from the broadcasters.
There was much positivity surrounding our Academy, with Chris Cadden looking like being the first of many talented graduates. The twin threats to our conveyor belt are the May transfer window when many big clubs from both sides of the border look to poach our young players, and the proposed changes to the system in Scotland which would see Motherwell pushed out by more “elite” set-ups – it was confirmed we would challenge this notion legally if required.
The only other player mentioned was Luka Belic – McGhee confirmed that the club had been offered the player for free so are not out of pocket but a combination of injuries and form means that whilst still training with us it is highly unlikely he will represent us competitively. Indeed a challenge from Stephen McManus in training this week has the West Ham man back on the treatment table!! The manager also took this episode as a sign of how low a standard English clubs feels the Scottish product is if they think a player of this standard would walk into an SPFL team.
The meeting was called to a close after an hour and many relocated to the Centenary Suite for The Well Society Q & A.
(Many thanks to Christopher for this report)