Motherwell FC and the ‘Well Society are today (Friday) delighted to announce that Les Hutchison has completed his takeover of the Club.
John Boyle’s majority shareholding has been transferred to Mr Hutchison, who is providing working capital to enable the Club to become one of the best-run community owned football clubs in Scotland.
Mr Hutchison’s input is in the form of an initial substantial then subsequent interest-free loans, which are repayable over a five-year period. The total sum required will be finalised over the coming months.
The ‘Well Society has committed to helping the Club with any repayments it cannot meet and will assume control of the Club if and when the loans are paid off within the five-year period. The ‘Well Society has also loaned the club £190,000 over the past two months.
Mr Hutchison has met with all the players and staff at Fir Park in recent days and a detailed business plan was ratified at a meeting of the new board this afternoon.
‘Well Society Chairman Brian McCafferty will now also Chair the Club board. Jim McMahon and Derek Weir also remain as directors.
Three new directors have been appointed – Ian Reid, Peter Kellie and Leanne Thomas, who is Mr Hutchison’s daughter.
All three are from the local area and have been nominated by the new owner to help transform the business across various areas of the Club.
Mr Hutchison said: “I’m very pleased today that we have begun this new chapter of Motherwell Football Club’s history.
“Hopefully we can change the agenda of the club. By my involvement it is now more of a philanthropic and community-based activity.
“The objective and the agreement that is in place with the fans is that in five years or less we make the improvements that are needed at the Club, that we move it into the position of being financially self-funded and then migrate the ownership to the ‘Well Society.
“I am extremely pleased with the Community Trust which operates from the Club, who assist some 35,000 local people in all sorts of ways such as kids at school, teens into football, ladies football, basketball and walking football for people my age. Some great work I am keen to encourage and support.
“During the time I am not taking any money out of the Club and none of the directors are taking any money.”
Mr Hutchison has appealed to Motherwell fans to back the project any way they can, for example by considering using the Club’s facilities for functions.
“The clear message which has to go to fans and sponsors and to everybody associated with the Club and community is that this project will not succeed without their active involvement,” he said.
“If we can have lots and lots of people involved in a small way then we can achieve our objectives.”
Motherwell FC Chairman Brian McCafferty added: “I would like to thank Les Hutchison for his generous loan and for providing his expertise and other resources to help transform the Club’s financial fortunes.
“We also owe John Boyle a huge debt of gratitude for facilitating the move towards fan ownership. He has selflessly put the Club and fans before his own interests.
“And everyone who has contributed to the ‘Well Society should feel very proud today – you have all played a significant role in keeping the Club in the hands of the community.
“The ‘Well Society now has a central role in the running of the Club and a clear route to ownership and we encourage all Motherwell fans to help us achieve that goal.
“I’m honoured to be taking on my new role and look forward to a bright new future which engages supporters and the wider community.”
John Boyle’s sixteen-year control at Motherwell Football Club has now formally come to an end. In addition, Andrew Wilson, Stewart Robertson, Graham Barnstaple and John Swinburne are stepping down from the Motherwell board to pave way for the new directors.
Everyone at Fir Park would like to acknowledge the significant contribution all five gentlemen have made and thank them for their tremendous efforts over the decades of combined service.