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  • First team

    Manager on Celtic loss

  • First team

    Motherwell 0-4 Celtic

  • First team

    Ross Tierney’s finding home comforts already

  • Women

    Hearts next in SWPL1

  • First team

    Next up: Celtic

  • Club

    Motherwell Football Community Trust’s autism sessions

  • Club

    Financial results for year ending May 2021

  • Women

    Scotland Under 19s call for Duff and Pollard

  • First team

    Tickets on sale for Dundee United away

  • Archive

    Graham Alexander on the draw at St Mirren

  • First team

    Manager on Celtic loss

    “We’re always going to have challenges. It’s about how we respond to that and how we get back up.”

  • First team

    Motherwell 0-4 Celtic

    Motherwell 0-4 Celtic

    Motherwell were blown away as Celtic racked up four without reply in victory at Fir Park in the cinch Premiership.

    Tom Rogic’s double, with further strikes from Liel Abada and Daizen Maeda, consigned the Steelmen to defeat.

    The Steelmen set up to play in a positive fashion, with only one change from the midweek draw at St Mirren. The enforced removal of Liam Shaw, who couldn’t play against his parent club, saw Dean Cornelius step in to midfield.

    Motherwell pressed high from the off, making life uncomfortable for the visiting defence as they looked to build from the back.

    Celtic though were dangerous when they broke out of the trap, and Kelly twice had to come to the rescue to deny Abada and Giakoumakis early on.

    That endeavour lasted 28 minutes, before a double salvo from Celtic swung the game in their favour.

    Hatate found room all too easily on the left from a swift move, crossing for Abada at the back post to steer the ball home.

    Three minutes later, Rogic found room 25 yards from goal in the centre, and sent an unstoppable curling effort into the top-left corner to make it two.

    Celtic’s third would come on the stroke of half-time. Abada beat the offside trap on the right, sliding the ball across goal for Rogic to tap in.

    Manager Graham Alexander responded by making three changes at the interval. Joe Efford made his debut, and was joined in attack by Ross Tierney and Kaiyne Woolery. Van Veen, Goss and Carroll made away.

    That change sparked a more positive approach from the hosts, with Efford having the best chance to pull one back.

    Finding room cutting in from the right, his shot took a deflection and had Hart sprawling to tip it behind.

    It would be the visitors who would get the lucky break from a deflection to increase their lead with 20 minutes left.

    The lively Maeda cut in from the right side and his shot was blocked by the brilliant sliding intervention of Mugabi. Unfortunately though, the ball looped up into the sky and came down into the net.

    Motherwell: Kelly, O’Donnell, Solholm (Nirennold), Mugabi, Carroll (Tierney), McGinley, Donnelly, Goss (Woolery), Cornelius, Slattery (Grimshaw), Van Veen (Efford).

    Subs not used: Fox, Ojala, Amazluzor, Roberts.

  • First team

    Ross Tierney’s finding home comforts already

    Ross Tierney’s finding home comforts already

    He may have only been here two months, but already, Ross Tierney considers Motherwell home.

    The 20-year-old made the move to Fir Park at the end of last year from Bohemian FC in the League of Ireland and would make his debut as the Steelmen hosted Morton in the Scottish Cup in late January.

    Along with the challenges of moving his young family to Scotland, Tierney also contracted Covid-19 earlier in the year.

    It has been a whirlwind, but the trials of the early stages of his time in ML1 has done nothing to dampen his desire to make the most of his opportunity.

    “I’m loving it so far, things are going really well and Motherwell already feels like home for me,” said Tierney, who netted a dramatic leveller against St Mirren midweek.

    “It was important that I came to Scotland and settled quickly, not just for me, but also for my missus and the kids too.

    “There are a lot of similarities between Scotland and Ireland. I think the people are very similar and just like back home, the weather isn’t very good. For a pale guy like me, I don’t really enjoy the sun much.

    “I caught Covid at the beginning of the year. It was hard not being able to go into training, but thankfully I felt okay and was able to return after my isolation. The rest of the family were in Ireland at the time and all tested negative, I was relieved as I’d have blamed myself if any of them had caught it from me. Overall it wasn’t too catastrophic.

    “Obviously you don’t want to catch Covid, but I was lucky that it happened during the winter break and I wasn’t missing games. I’m back, feeling good and looking forward to the busy run of games that we have coming up.”

    After touching down in Scotland, Tierney trained with his new teammates for a few weeks before being available for selection at the turn of the year.

    Walking into the dressing room at Fir Park, he admits to being shy initially as he took the time to adapt, but with the support of the players and staff at the football club, he has adjusted quickly.

    There has been limited time to explore his new surroundings – except for trips to a famous chain of restaurants and a kids’ soft play.

    “I was quite quiet when I came in, but the lads in the dressing room have been brilliant with me,” he added. “It doesn’t feel like a job coming into Fir Park every morning, it’s more like an extension of my family, from the
    groundsman to the chef, to the office staff – everyone will stop for a chat and to say hello. Karen [Paterson] has been a brilliant help to me too since I signed.

    “I think apart from Nando’s I’ve not really been anywhere, although I did go to ‘Ruff and Tumble’ last weekend – my two-year-old was able to use up plenty of energy.”

    The attacking midfielder was sold on a move to ‘Well by boss Graham Alexander who explained he would be part of the first team and should he impress in training, then he would be given an opportunity to demonstrate his worth.

    True to his word, Alexander handed Tierney his Premiership debut off the bench against Hibernian, though following the dismissal of Liam Donnelly, his first taste of league action would end after 19 minutes and he was replaced by Callum Slattery as Motherwell tried to ensure a share of the spoils.

    Although it was disappointing, the Dublin-born ace says he understood the decision to take him off, and four days later, the faith the Motherwell boss has in him was clear as Tierney was handed his first start in claret and amber for the meeting with Hearts at Tynecastle.

    “The manager told me that if I came here and trained well then I would get my chance and that’s what I want to do,” he explained. “I watched a lot of Scottish football growing up and I knew what to expect in terms of the standard.

    “It was brilliant to get my debut against Morton and I felt that I did well when I got my chance. The next game against Hibs, I came on and then was subbed off as the gaffer looked to make sure we took something from the game.

    “I obviously heard the reaction of the fans and to be honest I didn’t want to applaud as it might have been taken the wrong way and that I agreed with them being upset – that wasn’t the case.

    “The manager spoke to me after the game and explained he hates having to do that sort of thing, but I understood his reasons why he did it and my only concern was that the team went on to get a result, which we managed to do.

    “I respect the supporters, but when it comes to my football, the most important opinion is that of the manager.

    “It is also important not to look too far ahead, I know there is real competition for places and that I’ll need to keep performing well if I want to stay in the team.

    “We are getting nearer to the point where almost all of our squad are fully fit and there are new players arriving too – I certainly don’t envy the gaffer having to pick the team for every game. Everyone is hungry and looking to make an impact, those in the team know they have to perform if they want to stay there.”

    Tierney’s former side Bohemians have forged a reputation for being a club with community at the heart of everything they do, and he says he quickly saw real comparisons between the Dublin outfit and Motherwell.

    Like ‘Well, Bohs are also fan-owned, contribute to a number of important causes locally, and such was the affinity that Tierney’s family built up for the club, some remain season ticket holders at Dalymount Park.

    Having been handed his first opportunities in the professional game, and supported by those at the club through difficult times, he says that he will be forever grateful to Ireland’s oldest professional team.

    “There are a lot of similarities between the two clubs, that is something I pointed out to my agent when I arrived at Motherwell,” he explained. “The club is a big part of the local community and there is a real family atmosphere to the place. That is something that attracted me to Motherwell, I felt I could fit in well and settle quickly.

    “After I signed I received a lot of messages from the fans – I tried to respond to as many as I could. Our fans work hard all week and in many ways live for the weekend – I want to be doing my best to make sure they have many good weekends.

    “We all want to do our best for the club and if we do that then the supporters will get behind us.

    “I’m so grateful to Bohs for giving me my opportunity and for everything they have done for me professionally and in my personal life. They gave me my opportunity and when I was going through a tough time personally a few years ago, they were fantastic in the way that they supported me.

    “All of my family now support the club, in fact last year when I was playing for the Under 21s against Italy and Bohs were playing Shamrock Rovers on the same night – most of my family went to Dalymount Park instead of my game.

    “That shows how much the club means to my family and I will always look back on my time there with great fondness. I also owe a lot to St Kevin’s Boys too for the part they have played in getting to me to where I am now.”

    Tierney did not have to look far for examples of players from the League of Ireland who have made an impact in the Scottish Premiership.

    Jamie McGrath’s performances for St Mirren led to his first senior caps for the Republic of Ireland, while Liam Scales and Johnny Kenny have signed for Celtic from Shamrock Rovers and Sligo Rovers respectively.

    With five caps for the Irish Under 21 side, Tierney holds aspirations to follow in McGrath’s footsteps and break into Stephen Kenny’s senior squad, but insists there is a lot of work to be done if he is to achieve his goal.

    “I know Jamie McGrath went to St Mirren and done well, that’s probably the best example of a League of Ireland player coming to Scotland and making an impact,” he added. “I have been playing for the Under 21s for and of course it would be brilliant to have the chance to play for the senior side, but I’m not getting carried away – that’s a long, long way right now.

    “First of all I need to perform well for Motherwell and see where that takes me.”

    Ross’ time at Bohemians ended in an agonising penalty shoot-out defeat at the hands of St Patrick’s Athletic in the Irish FA Cup final – meaning Bohs will miss out on participation in European competition next season.

    Tierney has European experience having scored twice as the Irish side played their way through to the third qualifying round of the UEFA Europa Conference League, defeating Stjarnan, Dudelange and PAOK before eventually losing to the Greek side on aggregate.

    His move to Fir Park comes amidst the team mounting a challenge for a European place, and having sampled the big match atmosphere of European nights last year, he is determined for the chance to create more memories.

    “It was a shame to end my time with the club on that note, I’d have loved to have clinched a place in Europe for the club,” he reflected. “Jake Carroll was in my ear as soon as I arrived as he used to play with St Pat’s.

    “The European nights with Bohs were unbelievable and I would love to experience that again with Motherwell. I’m hungry for more European nights, but we know that they won’t come until we perform on the pitch consistently.”

    Celtic visit Fir Park this afternoon with Motherwell hoping to record a positive result against the Hoops for the first time in 10 meetings.

    In the stands, Ross’ father will be torn between backing his son and his love for Ange Postecoglou’s side.

    It will be a special occasion for the youngster and one that he hopes ends with holding the bragging rights over his old man.

    “It is a fixture I’m really looking forward to,” the forward said. “My dad is over for the game and he is a big Celtic fan.  I think he is in a no-lose situation for him.

    “Hopefully I will have the bragging rights. It’s a big game for us and one that we are aiming to take something from to help us continue to challenge in the top half of the table.”

  • Women

    Hearts next in SWPL1

    Hearts next in SWPL1

    Motherwell face Hearts in SWPL1 next on Sunday 6 February at The Oriam Sports Centre in Edinburgh.

    Kick off is 3pm. 

    Come and Watch

    Tickets for the match are priced at ​​£5 for adults and £2 for U16s/Over65s. Tickets can be bought here.

    There will be no option to pay at the gate on the day of the game. 

    Tale of the Tape

    Last time out, Motherwell came away with a comfortable 2-0 win against Hearts at Alliance Park.

    A Leanne Crichton penalty opened the scoring, before Kaela McDonald-Nguah doubled ‘Well’s advantage. 

    Motherwell have won each of the last four encounters against the Jambos, conceding only one goal in the process. 

    The last time Hearts took any points in this fixture, was in 2018 when the sides met in SWPL2. The score was 1-1. 

    Form Guide  

    Hearts currently occupy eighth in the table with ten points. Since the return from the winter break, they have one win in five in all competitions, that win coming against Gleniffer Thistle in the Scottish Cup. 

    Last week, they were beaten 2-0 by Glasgow City, after drawing 1-1 with Spartans the week prior. 

    Motherwell come into this game after claiming seven points from a possible 14.

    They dispatched Spartans 3-0 in their previous game to go four points clear of Aberdeen in fifth place in the table. 

    London Pollard netted her first Motherwell goals as she grabbed a double, whilst Jo Addie added a third in the second half. 

  • First team

    Next up: Celtic

    Next up: Celtic

    Celtic come to ML1 next in the cinch Premiership.

    Kick-off on Sunday is at 1.30pm.

    Get your ticket

    Home fans can get their tickets online now or by visiting the ticket office at Fir Park.

    Away supporters should contact Celtic directly for tickets.

    Covid-19 information

    Due to a change in legislation by the Scottish FA, Covid-19 certification checks will not be in place.

    Only venues with over 10,000 in attendance are required to carry out checks.

    Join us before the match

    The Cooper Bar is open from 11am for food and drink.

    Watch live online

    In the UK and Ireland, the game is being broadcast live on Sky Sports. PPV is not available.

    If you’re based abroad, you can watch via subscription at live.motherwellfc.co.uk.

    Form guide

    Celtic raced to a crushing 3-0 home win over Rangers in the derby on Wednesday night.

    Reo Hatate’s double, followed by Liel Abada’s strike, had the Glasgow side ahead at the break, and they maintained their lead to go top of the cinch Premiership table.

    In their last five league matches, Celtic have won all five, scoring 11 and conceding two.

    Motherwell left it late but grabbed an injury-time equaliser at St Mirren on Tuesday night, with Ross Tierney netting to secure a 1-1 draw.

    In their last five league matches, ‘Well have won one, drawn two and lost two.

    Tale of the tape

    Celtic are on a run of 10 consecutive wins against the Steelmen.

    Motherwell’s last positive result in the fixture came in December 2018, when Danny Johnson’s late equaliser ensured a share of the spoils in a 1-1 draw at Fir Park.

  • Club

    Motherwell Football Community Trust’s autism sessions

    Motherwell Football Community Trust’s autism sessions

    Motherwell FC Community Trust’s autism friendly football sessions are back once again after taking a break over the holidays. Everyone deserves to be included in sports and should feel welcome.

    The Community Trust runs the autism friendly sessions in. partnership with Reach Lanarkshire, an autism charity which helps support the parents and carers of autistic children around both South and North Lanarkshire.

    The class was originally set up in April 2021. There is no age limit for the group, but the majority of the participants are between primary and secondary school age. The children learn basic football skills such as passing, shooting, and dribbling.

    There is no pressure on the kids to attend every session, either. Typical football sessions can be triggering for autistic people due to what can be large pieces of confusing information being relayed to them at once.

    They can be extremely noisy, the feeling of wearing kit can cause irritation on their skin and make them feel uncomfortable, to name just a few issues.

    William Francis, one of the head coaches of the team, said, “Colour coded cones are used to help the youngsters improve their skills. We ensure sessions are fun and engaging and follow 9 similar structure every week so that our participants can have a routine. We keep instructions simple and use a variety of visual demonstrations.

    “We also try to avoid overloading them with too much information that would potentially confuse them.”

    Since autism can impact a person’s social skills, a lot of young autistic people find it hard to make friends and they feel lonely as a result. The National Library of Medicine in 2000 found that children with autism reported higher degrees of loneliness than those in the same age group as them, as well as a lower association between social interaction and loneliness than non-autistic children.

    The Community Trust’s autism friendly sessions provide young people the chance to meet and engage with others similar to them and form good relationships that they may not have been able to do if the sessions didn’t exist.

    “It is really rewarding for me seeing the children having fun enjoying playing football, it is so important to us that they all have a positive experience,” said William.

    “The kids are lovely, they all get on well with each other and have made friendships with both us and each other.

    “I have worked with autistic children previously, before getting involved with the group I was a coach with “Active Schools’ and I would deliver sessions to schools that were for pupils with additional supports needs which is something I still enjoy doing to this day.

    “Unfortunately, there are still a lot of misconceptions surrounding autism and the ways autistic people should be treated. Some still confuse an autistic meltdown or shut down as a child behaving badly, especially in public places which can provoke a negative reaction.

    “Sensory overload and meltdowns can be prevented with sensory objects such as tinted glasses, noise cancelling headphones and weighted blankets. Being calm towards a child who is suffering from a meltdown is vital as shouting can make it worse and stress the child more than they already are.

    “I think the group does have the potential to help stop the negative stigma and stereotypical connotations surrounding autism,” added William.

    “Everyone should have the opportunity to participate in sport and in our case football. Parents of the children taking part are allowed to stay with their kids and a support worker from REACH Lanarkshire will be present in case any child shows signs of distress.

    “Having a parent there as well as a support worker means if a child starts to feel overwhelmed the necessary help and care can be given so the child feels as safe as possible.”

  • Club

    Financial results for year ending May 2021

    Financial results for year ending May 2021

    Motherwell Football Club posted a record profit of £3,575,615 in the year ending 31 May 2021.

    This figure is a significant lift on the £435,970 profit recorded in 2020, with a total increase of £3,139,645.

    Included in the figure is a £1,518,471 accounting profit attributed to a Scottish Government interest-free loan, which is further detailed in the financial review below.

    The financial year in review by our chairman, Jim McMahon

    The financial results for the 2020/21 season are difficult to compare and contrast to earlier years.

    But despite the financial challenges created by Covid-19, I can report that the profit for the financial year is a club record £3,575,615.

    The pandemic caused a major reduction in our operating income. For example, revenue in the prior year included £1.35m of gate receipts. With matches being played behind closed doors, no such income was generated in 2020/21.

    The restrictions also reduced our commercial income by almost £350,000. There were various other smaller reductions in funding from the football bodies, who had front-loaded awards at the start of the pandemic.

    The club had put measures in place to reduce the impact of the pandemic on its finances. These were very successful and resulted in £4.1m of Other Operating Income being recorded in the financial year. This includes monies from the HMRC Job Retention (furlough) scheme, a business interruption insurance claim and an SPFL Trust Covid-19 grant.

    We also borrowed £2,959,000 from the Scottish Government to further strengthen our position should the pandemic, and the associated restriction to our normal trading conditions, continue for an extended period. The borrowings are to be repaid between September 2022 and August 2042 and are unsecured and interest-free.

    Accounting standards require such debt transactions to reflect normal commercial arrangements, i.e., the interest rate an arms-length lender could be expected to charge on an unsecured 20-year loan. Therefore, the financial results recognise the “benefit” of having such a loan interest-free. The total of that computed over the loan’s full term is shown as a credit to Other Operating Income in year one of the borrowing. This has been calculated at £1.518m. This amount will subsequently be charged as a finance cost in the club’s future financial results spread over the total period of the borrowing.

    The biggest factor in the profit for the financial year is generated in player registration gains, made up almost entirely of our initial fee from Celtic for David Turnbull. That transfer deal, a total that will most probably end as being at least double our previous record sale, also contains several add-ons, one of which has already been achieved during the 2021/22 season. It also includes the opportunity to retain future economic rights, should the player’s career continue to blossom.

    Over the last five financial years, the player registration gains generated by the club have been £6.2m. Whilst player registration gains are not incorporated within the club’s operating revenue, they form an integral part of the financial results and strategy, and influence budget decisions such as setting the staff budget. The two-pronged approach of generating income through player recruitment and development, together with academy promotion, will continue to form the spine of our model for the future.

    At the end of the financial year at 31 May 2021, and despite all the challenges created by the pandemic, the balance sheet shows we are in a strong financial position with significant net assets and over £4m of bank funds.

    This backdrop enabled us to reward and acknowledge the loyalty and support of our fans throughout the pandemic. We were able to renew season tickets to existing season ticket holders free of charge. We froze gate prices for non-season ticket holders at pre-pandemic levels, including juvenile entry at £3. And in conjunction with our fans, we provided free gate entry to those otherwise unable to afford to attend games due to unemployment and/or low income. As a result, our season ticket numbers sit at nearly 5,600, our highest ever total, and an improvement of 50% on the Covid-19 impacted 2020/21 total.

    The club’s financial position is healthy in the short to medium term. But we are acutely aware of the potential threats we face. We hope that this is the final spin of the Covid-19 roulette wheel, but it would be imprudent to plan solely on that basis.

    We continue to examine new ways of generating additional revenue streams and look at ways to streamline costs and make the club more efficient. This needs to be done whilst remaining competitive in what is probably the most challenging top league in Scotland for the last two decades. It is not an easy balance to get right, but it is essential that we do.

    The club only works properly and with a chance of success when all the component parts – fans, owners, playing and coaching staff, the management team and the Board – work in unison. They have, and I give my thanks to everyone for making that happen during 2020/21.

    Jim McMahon

    The 116th annual general meeting of the club will be held on Monday 21 February 2022.

    We anticipate the meeting will be held in person, but if for any reason Covid-19 restrictions are tightened between now and the 21st, we will revert to an online Zoom meeting.

    Any shareholder who would wish to receive either a printed or emailed copy of the audited accounts should email accounts@motherwellfc.co.uk before the close of business on 15 February 2022.

  • Women

    Scotland Under 19s call for Duff and Pollard

    Scotland Under 19s call for Duff and Pollard

    Motherwell pair Ciara Duff and London Pollard have been called up to represent Scotland in a double header against Wales this month. 

    Goalkeeper Ciara Duff, who was in the Under 19s squad last month, will once again be looking to impress manager Pauline Hamill and cement a place in her team. 

    After netting her first goals for Motherwell last weekend against Spartans, Pollard is also once again selected as she continues her development. 

    Scotland face off against Wales on Tuesday 15 February and Friday 18 February.

  • First team

    Tickets on sale for Dundee United away

    Tickets on sale for Dundee United away

    We go to face Dundee United in the cinch Premiership on Wednesday 9 February.

    Kick-off is at 7.45pm.

    To buy tickets, you can get yours online now from Dundee United, or from the ticket office at Tannadice until kick-off.

    Prices are:

    • Adults: £26
    • Concessions : £14
    Covid restrictions

    Due to a change in legislation by the Scottish FA, Covid-19 certification checks will not be in place.

    Only venues with over 10,000 in attendance are required to carry out checks.

    We advise that all fans take a lateral flow test before travelling to the match, regardless of their vaccination status.

  • Archive

    Graham Alexander on the draw at St Mirren

    “We’ve got a team here that won’t ever give up and will keep going for the fans.”