Plans for the Well Society were revealed in September last year and it was registered with the FSA in October. Fans were able to demonstrate their support by signing up and paying the membership fee by the end of December and the end of March 2012 was set as the date by which the minimum fund of £250,000 had to be reached.
The significance of this moment should not be underestimated. That a club in the top flight should be owned by its supporters and run for the benefit of the community is a revolutionary change. As others struggle with debt caused by over ambition and greed Motherwell are following a different path. Not that this is a new concept - we need to remember that football clubs were born in the communities that bore them.
When John Boyle revealed that Motherwell had approached the court to appoint an interim administrator ten years ago he also put the club up for sale saying, "The board would look favourably on handing over control of the club to the community in some form....". Today's announcement was a huge step in that process.
In the aftermath of that traumatic time the 'Well Worth Saving campaign gave rise to the Supporters Trust, an Industrial and Provident Society driven with the aim of increasing fan influence and participation. Now, within a year of Boyle donating his shares, the Well Society, using the same structure, has been formed and will now be given a substantial stake holding in the club. The projection is that it will become the majority shareholder in a few years.
A first general meeting of the Society has to be called and a board will be elected to run its affairs. The Society will, in the first instance, be able to place two directors on the board of the football club and when the next target of 1,000 voting members is passed (at the moment the 927 members includes 263 juniors) "further director elections" will be held.
The fact that the initial target has been met does not signal an end to the fund raising effort. If the club is to consolidate its relatively healthy financial state a much bigger insurance pot needs to be built. The work goes on!
The Articles of Association are available here
Download membership form here (pdf)