Motherwell's statement

We are surprised and disappointed by the decision of our management team to leave the club at this time and in this way. But it is not in our ethos as a club to stand in anyone’s way that wanted to be somewhere else. We also have far too much respect for Craig and Archie and what they have achieved in the game to do anything other than wish them happiness in what they are setting out to do and to thank them for their efforts in the last year. It is very difficult to understand their decision but we must respect it.

“We have done absolutely everything we could to keep them and to support their personal ambitions and demands for a bigger player budget. We now turn our focus to the future and to securing a management team that can build on the platform we have with a talented squad, strong league challenge and the potential for Cup success.

“Separately we do wish to make clear that as a board we believe that the conduct of the board of Aberdeen in this matter has been wholly inappropriate and in clear breach of SPL rules as well as basic courtesy. At no point did they inform us or seek our permission to speak to critical employees of our club and to seek to entice them to leave our employment.

We realise the desperation they are feeling and the pressure they are under from their fans for their own performance as a board but to go about their business in this way is a matter of gross discourtesy. It is also conduct which is beneath the integrity we would expect of a club of Aberdeen’s stature. We hope Aberdeen’s fans will reflect on that and understand our need to do something about it. We have raised this matter with the SPL and will pursue the matter vigorously and by all means.

“To all Motherwell fans everywhere we ask for you to rally round the club as you always do and we will work together to keep punching above our weight and obtaining the success we all seek. This club is bigger than any manager and for that matter any board. As fans we will always be the people who care most about this club for the long term. Loyalty is clearly all too rare in football but we know we have it in ourselves for the club we love. Motherwell is a special club from a special place as anyone touched by us knows well."