A measure of our progress is that when we kick off in next season’s Champions League qualifier it will be our fourth campaign in five years. We were in the Uefa Cup in 2008/9 and the Europa League in the next two seasons. Fans will be delighted to air their claret and amber colours on foreign shores having missed out for a year.
A happy Leeann Dempster was interviewed after Tuesday’s match and revealed that the Uefa prize fund donates 140,000 euro to teams participating in the third qualifying round (to be drawn on Friday 20 July) and with TV cash and a decent home gate assured, we’re in the money.
A win would put us in the final qualifier with a payout of 2.1 million euro (last season’s figure). A loss would see us in the round ahead of the Europa League group stage and a payout of 90,000 euro (again based on last season).
Although the money matters even more important in the greater scheme is the recognition that will come to the club. Motherwell FC will be mixing with some very well known names at this stage in the competition, the players will get to test themselves and the fans will have at least a couple of trips to enjoy.
The problems facing Rangers have given us an unexpected boost but that should not undermine the terrific success that the manager and players have delivered. The small squad, assembled for a modest cost and without any superstar names, has every right to the title ‘Best of the Rest’ and we thank them for the hard work over the season.
Saturday’s trip to Govan will be the 42nd competitive game since July. Can there be any better way to celebrate than to end the Rangers hoodoo and win the match?
The SPL site published this handy table...
Motherwell's SPL record
1998/99 - 41 points - 7th*
1999/00 - 52 points - 4th*
2000/01 - 43 points - 8th**
2001/02 - 40 points - 11th
2002/03 - 28 points - 12th
2003/04 - 46 points - 6th
2004/05 - 48 points - 6th
2005/06 - 49 points - 8th
2006/07 - 38 points - 10th
2007/08 - 60 points - 3rd
2008/09 - 48 points - 7th
2009/10 - 53 points - 5th
2010/11 - 46 points - 6th
2011/12 - 61 points - 3rd***
*ten team league - four rounds of nine fixtures
**introduction of 12 team league - three rounds of 11 fixtures then mid-season split
***two matches remaining