GLF 44: Boom & Bust

JC looks back on the Boyle era.

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Boom & Bust

 

So Motherwell slip into administration after a four-year stint under the guidance of the chairperson who promised "The Third Force" shortly after his arrival on the scene.

 

During his spell of stewardship at the helm it is claimed he's put over ten million of his own money into the club to keep it afloat.Lauded as a self-made millionaire, his economics seem to have been faulty from day one.Football clubs lose money; only very few make any.


Mr Boyle inherited a club with new stands built and in place and a club in the black run in a prudent fashion on the gates and income available.Obviously the policy of giving inflated salaries to underachievers on a weekly basis accounts for a proportion of the trading loss.Up-grading the Main Stand toilet facilities and press area also took finance as would the new training facilities and staffing of The Chapman and ticket offices, but to the tune of ten million??
 

 

The media and press have a deal to say on the matter, more column inches than usual, but that's normal for bad news.During Mr Boyle's term, despite all the hype on some fronts, the actual product on field deteriorated, only one season being close to a UEFA Cup place, even then managing to throw away a large points gap at Christmas to trail in behind Hearts.Despite his attempt to woo fans from the Old Firm, laudable though his aims were, this was always going to be a long-term project if a goer at all.There's more polarisation between both sets of the Old Firm and any attempt to lure them was a highly risky strategy at best.

 

So any boom that occurred during Mr Boyle's stewardship, I must have blinked and missed it.As I've written previously I primary come to Fir Park to be entertained and only latterly since the emergence of James McFadden, Keith Lasley, Stephen Hammell, Stuart Elliott and Stephen Pearson have I seen any on view at Fir Park.Unfortunately, just when I thought Motherwell had turned the corner and survived in the SPL for another term, things get worse!

 

The administrators will probably sell all the above for peanuts along with the real estate.I read this is an option but this should be resisted if Motherwell are to survive in any shape or form.Selling the ground and leasing it back - no!!!!I take an interest in Hereford down south and much of their financial plight has been exacerbated by a similar lease stipulation.Those leasing the ground may well have other plans for the land and decide to teminate at their own whim.

 

The chairperson is merely the custodian for the club and what happens during their stewardship can determine what eventually happens at a club.The fans remain constant, although quite a few have drifted away from Motherwell during Mr Boyle's term.

 

So who knows how things will pan out.Perhaps this will be the last time you'll have to read my tosh.Mr Swinburne, on a recent TV item, seemed quite confident of the outcome - I hope his optimism is well founded.By a strange quirk of fate, possibly, the first Motherwell game I ever saw was at Cathkin Park almost fourty years ago - I hope Motherwell are not going to be the next Scottish club to join Third Lanark as defunct.

 

Should the worst case scenario take place, rest assured this boy won't be joining the queues at Ibrox or Celtic Park although I won't give up the beautiful game.No doubt all concerned with the affairs of the club should have been alerted last year when assets were allowed to depart for buttons to Wigan - the writing was clearly on the wall then, only we the fans didn't read it correctly - c'est la vie!

 

John Creighton

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