Motherwell FC AGM - 2011
Updated Thursday, 24th February 2011
The club's 105th Annual General Meeting took place on Wednesday ahead of the game with St Mirren. The evening was dominated by the news of John Boyle's decision to hand over control of the club.
The formalities, as ever, were quickly completed and the accounts approved. Stewart Robertson confirmed that the club made a small profit this year only because of the fees received for Clarkson and Quinn and because of compensation for the loss of McGhee and Leitch.
Derek Weir gave an update on the latest position with SPL reconstruction following Monday’s meeting at Hampden. He made it clear that we shouldn’t believe everything printed in the press and explained that the proposals in the 112 page document were still being refined. The club favoured a bigger league but that was no longer an option as it failed to muster enough support some time ago. When the final proposal arrives it will be considered by the board and a decision made whether to support or reject.
Leeann Dempster outlined the growing success of the community programmes. There is now a waiting list for the coaching courses and a further expansion of the learning centres is underway. A third facility in the Cooper Stand will be added. This season’s 13% increase in season ticket sales is attributable in part to the knock on from these activities.
She responded later to a question about the state of the playing surface. It had fallen foul to an attack from a type of algae. This has resulted in a loss of grass cover and the need for the unsightly sanding now in evidence. There are no games scheduled at Fir Park for four weeks following Sunday’s game with Celtic so the pitch will be seeded and with the help of germination covers it is expected that a recovery will soon take place.
It was made clear that a move to a new stadium was still a possibility. It would need a partnership with public bodies and that any sale of Fir Park would not be enough to fund a new home. The Ravenscraig site remains the likely destination and discussions are ongoing regarding the provision of training facilities.
A copy of John Boyle’s personal statement was circulated and he added a few words to the shareholders. He explained that he and other board members had taken lessons from their trips to Aalesund and Odense and had been impressed by the community involvement in the club. He saw his dominance as an impediment to wider participation rather than an advantage and so he made the decision to hand the club over to the board in order that plans for shared ownership could be implemented.
Several warm tributes for the chairman’s contribution to the club over the last thirteen years were made from the audience.
Jim McMahon gave some insight to the new path that the club was about to take. It had to be innovative and it would offer supporters near and far a chance to invest. The board expects that some sort of return would be made on any investments. This would not be in the form of cash but there was a need to find ways of rewarding individuals, companies and other groups for their support.
He also made it clear that the club is not seeking a new owner and that its aim is to spread ownership among as broad a base as possible. A wide group should own the club.
The club are keen to work with anyone interested in the new way forward and an invitation to contact firstname.lastname@example.org is extended to all.
Last year’s AGM report is here.