AGM - Well Society members have a decision to make

Last updated : 22 February 2024 By John Wilson

Well Society members will face a test of their commitment to fan ownership as the prospect of external investment was revealed at the Motherwell AGM on Wednesday evening.

Outgoing chairman Jim McMahon informed the shareholders present at the Fir Park meeting that the recent appeal for investment had prompted several notes of interest and that two of those had progressed to merit serious consideration.  One has asked for a period of due diligence.


A broad outline of the discussions was given though it was made clear that fine details were still to be agreed.  Talks revolved around money coming from the USA in the form of share capital with no debt to the club.  The Well Society board has been kept in the loop and a consultation with members will soon be launched.  The key question for members will be whether they approve of a dilution of fan ownership.  The Society currently has 71% of the club’s shares, would a reduction to 50% or less be acceptable?

Without a big transfer fee, a high league position or a decent cup run the club would likely run at a loss every year.  In addition the manager would have to operate with close to the lowest player budget in the top division. 

A long discussion ensued as the audience was presented with the financial realities of running a Premiership club backed with only the modest income generated by the Society.  Fears were expressed about giving up the hard won prize of fan control.  The Society will have a difficult task in offering a balanced view to its members of the pros and cons of an offer that has yet to be finalised.  At the heart of it will be the decision whether to hold on to the majority shareholding.

It is normal at the AGM for the Q & A with the manager to be the main focus.  Stuart Kettlewell’s session was overshadowed by the financial chat but there were a few interesting snippets from the chat.

It was confirmed that Kettlewell’s contract runs until 2025.  His reward for the avoidance of relegation last season was a further two years and with only nine players already committed for season 24/25 he will have a chance to build his own squad over the summer.  As far as he is aware none of the current squad have signed pre-contract agreements with other clubs.

There was some discussion of the possibility of the return of van Veen but the willingness of Kilmarnock to pay big ended our interest.  The dispiriting evening at the end of the transfer window was described as the late chase for a striker was fruitless.

Kettlewell talked of the qualities that attracted him to Theo Bair and of the work that followed on and off of the training field.  His commitment to the development of young players is clear and he gave an insight into the recruitment strategies employed by the club.

The formal business of the meeting was concluded inside the first ten minutes.

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