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Motherwell FC - A Thread For All Seasons

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Also presumably the Well Society is the biggest creditor for any future solvency event and we will accept 1p in the £ leaving the face painters with peanuts? 

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30 minutes ago, ropy said:

If player trading has allowed us to repay £1.5m, will similar trading allow some money to be paid back to the Well Society so that it can be borrowed again when needed? 

 

27 minutes ago, ropy said:

Also presumably the Well Society is the biggest creditor for any future solvency event and we will accept 1p in the £ leaving the face painters with peanuts? 

I think you've kind of answered your own question there. The WS money is on the books as a 'loan' (debt) that can be paid back but in practice it's 'investment' by the owners and is also there to provide a security. This is what yer man Kheredine seemed to have a real problem grasping when he was speaking to Burrows yesterday.

As you say having the WS as the biggest creditor maintains a certain amount of protection for the exact reason you've mentioned. I'd guess that it'd also be the case in the event any takeover approach (unlikely as that may seem). Repaying the WS 'loan' probably wouldn't be that helpful.

Edited by capt_oats

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The talk of us moving to a new build stadium gives me the fear. Fir Park ain’t perfect but having a soulless Lego stadium would be horrific.

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Is it just the main stand that is the drain in terms of upkeep, could it be replaced with a more modest single tiered effort and dispersing offices and hospitality between the new and existing stands

Edited by ropy

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18 minutes ago, capt_oats said:

 

I think you've kind of answered your own question there. The WS money is on the books as a 'loan' that can be paid back but in practice it's 'investment' by the owners and is also there to provide a security. This is what yer man Kheredine seemed to have a real problem grasping when he was speaking to Burrows yesterday.

 

Was listening to that yesterday and it was painful. Couldn’t decide if the interviewer was trying to get Burrows to admit that they had more debt that they let on or just wasn't getting the idea of that the debt was owed to the fans that will never realistically ever be called in. In the end I think it was a bit of both.  If your going to probe someone like that at least grasp the the information that has already been laid out.

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Is it just the main stand that is the drain in terms of upkeep, could it be replaced with a more modest single tiered effort and dispersing offices and hospitality between the new and existing stands
Don't think it is just the main stand, the pitch is a massive drain and the east must take a load upkeep as well, judging by the nick of the concourse yesterday after the rain.

I don't think there is much that could be done with the main anyway due to the houses and given the estates now where the old college was, I think we would get a fair whack by developers to carry that further up, houses basically back onto the south stand now.

A new stadium is hugely overdue and I anticipate it will be in this next phase of the ravenscraig development.

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4 minutes ago, gannonball said:

Was listening to that yesterday and it was painful. Couldn’t decide if the interviewer was trying to get Burrows to admit that they had more debt that they let on or just wasn't getting the idea of that the debt was owed to the fans that will never realistically ever be called in. In the end I think it was a bit of both.  If your going to probe someone like that at least grasp the the information that has already been laid out.

100%. It was compounded by the follow up interview with Les Hutchison where Richard Gordon seemed to think they had a hot exclusive with Hutchison challenging the claim he'd been paid back when in actual fact all he was doing was clarifying that he had written off £500k as part of a fundraising initiative so hadn't been paid back precisely the amount he'd loaned. Which is something that was pretty much public knowledge.

Both interviews were really weird listens.

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They were pretty strange. Nothing particularly new in regards to the society and Les’ contributions but sportsound seemed to think they had some red hot exclusive they way they were going at it.

Kheredine couldn’t seem to grasp that the donations from the society have to be recorded as ‘debt’ on our balance sheet but clearly don’t need to be paid back/won’t be called in.

On a potential stadium move, I’m unsure how we’d afford it without some external funding/debt unless we absolutely excel in player trading. Would the council help us out as part of a move to Ravenscraig?

If I had the choice, it’d be to redevelop areas of Fir Park but I don’t know how realistic that is as others have said above.

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NL can barely keep local services going without expecting them to assist in paying the bill for a new stadium.

WRT the chat of leaving FP, I would love to see redevelopment of the place. Indeed I would look to keep the character of the place by rebuilding the main stand, keeping it as 3/4 of the pitch and getting shot of the South stand.

Either that or remove the seats from the East Stand.

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The main reason we'd never re-develop Fir Park is that doing anything at all requires the revenue from selling it. It's move or nothing.

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On 01/11/2019 at 14:18, capt_oats said:

Having said all that, I'd very much like him to stay as regardless of the resident morons in our support mewling if we lose a game he's clearly a very good coach and he's a good fit for what we're trying to do.

Very much in agreement with all of this(just didn’t want to quote the whole thing).

I noticed several outlets still leading this morning with Robinson being Hearts no 1 target. I hadn’t given much thought myself but also heard similar from a few people inside Fir Park yesterday as well- you always do though and it’s hard to separate the fact from the fiction. 

Looking back at when he took over, we’d just been beaten 5-1 at home by Dundee and were sitting 3 points off bottom with 24 points after 26 games. If he were to leave tomorrow, he’d leave us in 3rd place with 22 points after 12 games.

Obviously a lot has happened between then and now but it’s hard to argue with the job Robinson’s done overall. Some of the football was tough to watch, especially in 2018. However his remit was to stay clear of relegation and bring in/through players the club could punt for some decent money and he’s always done that. Plus the cup finals, the players developed and sold on his watch must have all played a big part in club now being virtually debt free.

There’s definitely been some rocky spells but there’s no doubt we’re in a far better position than the one he found us in. If he does leave, the next person will certainly benefit from a lot of the good work Robinson has done at Fir Park both on and off the pitch. 

Edited by Casagolda

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6 hours ago, Swello said:

I think one of the biggest things about fan ownership based on our example is that the club needs to be well run on its own merits, as the model we have (based on our support) is not really equipped to plug huge holes in the finances. St Johnstone are already a well run club and there isn't really a reason why our model could work there too. I think where it would be difficult would be where a club was a shit show to begin with - I don't think the model we use is designed to mop up the mess left by a inept owner that's run up massive debts.

St Johnstone having a smaller fanbase on paper would mean that the income stream from their version of the Well Society would be smaller and so the margin for error for the club would be less - they could only cover a smaller operating loss were that to happen. On the other side of it, Perthshire is a relatively affluent part of the country (certainly compared to Lanarkshire) and it may be that fewer supporters making larger donations on average would help make it viable.

Because it's been a quiet success largely devoid of hype and because most of the hard work behind the scenes is invisible to normal supporters/owners - I think a lot of us already take fan ownership for granted. The next phase is what interests me - Alan Burrows is now talking about training centres and new stadiums and I'm slightly sceptical about how we fund big capital projects without outside help - we can't rely on the same (already highly leveraged) 2 or 3 thousand core supporters for that. 

I get that Les is probably quite a difficult person and his interview on Sportsound was quite ham-fisted and in truth there wasn't anything he said that wasn't mentioned back in 2016 after the hand over but I think it would probably be quite useful for the club to acknowledge what the £1.6m (or whatever it was) enabled us to do since as you say a lot of the behind-the-scenes stuff is kind of overlooked. While we ran news stories on the website variously about the commercial department, sports science & strength and conditioning, Physios, a head of recruitment, the Academy, Marketing & Fan-engagement, Comms and all the various refurbs of suites I'm not sure fans necessarily join the dots in terms of how that squares with investment and getting the club to a break even point (especially after the Dempster years).

It doesn't need to be a paean to Les Hutchison but an overview of the investment and what has gone into the early stages of fan ownership and making it a viable proposition would be useful IMO. The reality is that it's needed more than a fiver a month from 3k or so folk to make it work.

We all talk about the model & the strategy but stabilising the club and actually implementing a viable business model will have required cash up front. I'm sure that there's been an amount of wastage but there's presumably more to the investment of the loan than that it having been spunked on Tony Straker.

In that respect while we are clearly "a fan-owned club" I'm not sure we're necessarily a standard representation given we had substantial capital cash injection via the softest of loans and very favourable repayment terms that allowed us to transition and implement the model. Of course none of that takes away from the work done behind the scenes and in less capable hands than Burrows the whole thing could easily have fallen on its arse. 

It may not be what fans necessarily want to hear but Les has a point in terms of warning against complacency and taking fan ownership for granted.

Edited by capt_oats

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45 minutes ago, Baldie1980 said:

personally I dnt think hed leave u guys to go to hearts,its certainly not a step up is it

I’m not certain he’d go, especially if Levein is still lurking in the background in some capacity. On the other hand, the opportunity to move to a bigger job and potentially triple your salary isn’t something a lot of people are going to turn down.

Realistically, from where we are at the minute the only way is down. For Hearts, who arguably have the strongest squad in the league outside the OF, the opposite is true. As such, I can see why it’s potentially an attractive proposition. 

Football is fickle and at the start of 2019, most Motherwell fans(myself included) wouldn't have been particularly bothered had Robinson departed. So in all honesty, I couldn’t really blame Robinson if he wanted to cash in just now while his stock is high.

Edited by Casagolda

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46 minutes ago, capt_oats said:

In that respect while we are clearly "a fan-owned club" I'm not sure we're necessarily a standard representation given we had substantial capital cash injection via the softest of loans and very favourable repayment terms that allowed us to transition and implement the model. Of course none of that takes away from the work done behind the scenes and in less capable hands than Burrows the whole thing could easily have fallen on its arse. 

I think this is a good point. Having a viable fan owned model is one thing - getting to the point where you can actually do it is another. We effectively got the club handed to us (with a few conditions attached) but in most cases, there would need to be a purchase from a traditional owner first which would make it complex as you need both "purchase money" and "operating money" from somewhere. Is that possibly what St Mirren are doing right now?

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5 hours ago, Swello said:

On the other side of it, Perthshire is a relatively affluent part of the country (certainly compared to Lanarkshire) and it may be that fewer supporters making larger donations on average would help make it viable.

God no, folk with money in Perth hoard it, and certainly wouldnt give it to a football club. Stagecoach was born here, yet their owners refuse to do any advertising with the club or in the stadium because theyd have to pay for it, the club actually has to pay them to advertise on their buses.

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6 hours ago, scmwell said:

The talk of us moving to a new build stadium gives me the fear. Fir Park ain’t perfect but having a soulless Lego stadium would be horrific.

Aye this. We would never have the money to build a mini Spurs type stadium. We would deffo end up with a soulless Lego shithouse as you say

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