Chiefie gets the Blame
Updated Sunday, 7th December 2003
John Swinburne, claiming the backing of the rest of the board, has launched a verbal attack on former Chief Executive, Pat Nevin, and suggested that he should bear most of the responsibility for our journey into administration.
It seems that Pat made some remarks following
Paul Forsyth goes on the quote Swinburne as saying, "What annoys me is that every director should have been collectively responsible for what happened, but the one who is not accepting the blame is the one who was the biggest culprit. I do not like the idea of being accused of moral bankruptcy. The very thought that my club could go out of existence was unthinkable and I wasnít about to let it happen. I know where to point the finger."
"He (John Boyle) made one mistake in my opinion, and that was appointing Pat Nevin as his chief executive. He was a brilliant footballer, an articulate and intelligent gentleman, but when it comes to high finance and business, I think the club went into administration because he was found wanting.
"He was awarding extended contracts to guys who were under-achievers. The result was that Motherwell ended up in huge debt and going nowhere. Our annual debt figure was £2-£3m per annum, and rising. John Boyle had no option but to put the club into administration and get things back on an even keel.
"The root cause was the ludicrous contracts given to players nearing the end of their careers. They were given up to seven or eight thousand pounds a week and three-year contracts. We could not afford it. How can the chief executive, whose job it was to deal with these things, claim no responsibility for them?
"He was giving players like Roberto Martinez contracts we could not countenance. We were trying to keep up with the Jonesís. When I went to complain, I was told the manager and Nevin had exclusivity over football decisions. He was the football expert who had played at the highest level."
Swinburne claims the board as a whole are angry about Nevinís recent comments. He admits that, at a meeting immediately before the decision to go into administration, he suggested the chief executive should be "hung out to dry" and blamed for the clubís troubles. "One of the directors," he recalls, "leaned over to me and said, ĎYou mean, tell the truth?í "
Pat then responds with, "When he blamed me at the board meeting, every other member of the board shouted him down. They said that to do that would be disgraceful. The fact is that I was given a budget every year, and never exceeded it. When you are asked to become the third force in Scottish football, you spend the money you are given, but I have done nothing wrong.
"I really havenít said all of my side of the story because I didnít want to rake up a lot of bad feeling, but if they want to sit down and go into everything I am happy to do it - in front of the Motherwell fans if need be. That is how comfortable I am with my part in what happened."
The full story is online here.
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