Motherwell chairman to step down with ‘significant investment’ needed

The 74-year-old will step down by the end of the season 'once a successor has been appointed'.

Motherwell chairman to step down with ‘significant investment’ needed at club SNS Group

Motherwell chairman Jim McMahon announced plans for a fund-raising initiative as he signalled his intent to step down from his Fir Park role.

The club says the 74-year-old will step down by the end of the season “once a successor has been appointed and certain live projects have been completed”.

McMahon claims the club – which is owned by the Well Society fan group – needs “significant investment”.

Motherwell received a record transfer fee of £3.25m from Celtic for David Turnbull in 2020, a sum the club described as “transformational”.

However, they have been spending significantly more on wages than comparable teams in the cinch Premiership.

Well spent £6million more on staff costs than Kilmarnock over their first six seasons in fan ownership. In the 2021-22 season, they spent £5.2m, a rise of 60 per cent in five years, and significantly more than Killie (£3.4m), St Mirren (£3.9m) and Ross County (£3.1m).

The Lanarkshire club lost about £1m in the 2021-22 campaign and a bigger loss is expected when the latest financial figures are released for a season in which they had three managers.

In a statement, McMahon said: “It has become very clear over the last few years that for the club to operate on a sustainable basis, provide the manager with a competitive player budget, meet the vastly increased cost of our other activities including having a successful woman’s team and maintaining a fit for purpose stadium, training ground and academy facility, that it will require significant investment; funding on a similar scale to that received by many others in the SPFL.

“We have undertaken a large amount of work and held numerous discussions to explore how we could best achieve this. The final stages of a fund-raising initiative are almost complete and will be ready to be shared early in the new year.

“It is therefore the right time for a new executive team to work with the recently expanded Well Society board, to take this on and put in place a long-term operational and funding plan for the club.”

Motherwell are also on the hunt for a chief executive with Derek Weir planning to depart by the end of March. The former vice-chairman has been fulfilling the role on a part-time interim basis since Alan Burrows left for Aberdeen in February.

The Well Society last week told members that Weir had been working to reduce the player budget to a “realistic and manageable level”.

The club confirmed they were still working on a wider board restructure and a resolution to increase the size of the board will be introduced at the annual general meeting in February. There have been four directors since the departure of Burrows – McMahon, Andrew Wilson and Well Society representatives Douglas Dickie and Tom Feely.

The club added that Weir would “step back from having any involvement with the running of the club” once a chief executive is appointed.

McMahon joined the board under John Boyle’s stewardship in March 2001, a year before the club went into administration. He became chairman in 2016, when the Well Society assumed control of the majority of shares following a transition period under Les Hutchison.

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