Motherwell FC can today confirm that negotiations between the ‘Well Society and Les Hutchison have been successfully concluded and the club has now transferred into fan ownership.
You will recall back in January of 2015, after fourteen years, John Boyle sold his majority shareholding in the club to Les Hutchison for £1 (as a guarantor) to instigate the transition to fan ownership.
At the recent Well Society Annual General Meeting and subsequent Q&A session, the Society Board reported that they would only agree to terms and conditions that would allow them to take ownership and at the same time maintain the sustainability of the club.
The basis of the now signed agreement is that the Society would purchase Les Hutchison’s 76% shareholding for the £1 he purchased it for, and the club will be responsible for repaying any outstanding money.
As well as governance of the operation, the on-going responsibility of the Well Society will be to generate additional income for the running of the business through the monthly direct debit payments of £10 or more, a cornerstone for financial stability over the coming years.
The Society wish to acknowledge and to thank Mr Les Hutchison for his valuable input to the club in terms of financial support and business experience, and for assisting in our drive towards fan ownership.
They would also like to thank Mr John Boyle for his huge service over the years as majority shareholder and continuing support and assistance in concluding this successful transfer agreement.
And finally, to the loyal, dedicated, passionate Motherwell supporters, without whom, none of this would have happened.
[pullquote]This is a historic day for all involved with the Motherwell FC, and we are delighted that the outcome we all wanted as members of the Society has now been achieved.[/pullquote]
Jim McMahon, Motherwell Football Club Chairman and a founder member of the Society commented: “The last two years have been dramatic and challenging for the club.
“Having triumphed in the play offs we all hoped that the next period would be more settled and allow us to move gradually to fan ownership over the five year timescale envisaged.
“Instead the opportunity arose almost immediately and it is a credit to the Well Society that they have been able to deal with the abrupt change. I agreed to act as Chairman during that transition and it is an honour to serve the club that I have supported all my life.
“I appreciate there have been different views expressed in meetings, online and on social media about the validity of fan ownership, but it is now up to us to make this work – for our part, we will aim to become more open, change the governance structure and listen to all and any ways to help. This is a real chance to do something special”
Douglas Dickie, Well Society Joint Chair, said, “Our aim of fan-ownership has been, at times, a challenging road, but it has been achieved by a great amount of effort by Well Society members, fans and volunteers.
“It has also been made possible by a number of people who have given their expertise and commitment over a period of time to reach a satisfactory conclusion to our goal. We are now entering a new phase in our history.
“Fan ownership has responsibilities and we all need to realise that continued and growing financial support from all fans will be required. Together we can maintain, strengthen and be proud of the qualities and values of this great Community Club. The future is what we make it!”
To read the ‘Well Society update, click here.