Motherwell are looking for a chief executive who has no prior connection to the club, according to interim CEO Derek Weir.
Weir revealed the club had seen four potential appointments fall through in the two months after the departure of Alan Burrows to Aberdeen in February last year, but were now getting closer.
The former vice-chairman said in a club video: “We are speaking to some people who we identified in the process.
“We are trying to target people who have no current or historical connection with the club on the basis of trying to get a bit of a fresh start, someone who has a fresh perspective.
“I don’t want to be here one day longer than I need to be but we are in a process of trying to identify strong candidates and these people tend to be in roles and we are just working through that. I would like to step down by the end of March.”
In a 40-minute interview, Weir addressed a range of issues including performances on the field, arguing that Motherwell could not afford to change their manager each time they had a bad run and that players were behind Stuart Kettlewell throughout their recent 15-game stretch without victory.
With Kettlewell’s future even more secure after taking four points from their last two games, Weir stated they were looking to recruit players with the departures of Brodie Spencer, Pape Souare and Conor Wilkinson giving them flexibility.
“We are hoping that by the end of this transfer window we have some new faces in and some players back from injury,” Weir said.
Chairman Jim McMahon is also set to leave Fir Park amid wider boardroom change and the long-serving director recently claimed the club needed “significant investment”.
Weir stressed that “the club is absolutely not in financial difficulty” and would have cash in the bank at the end of the season. But he admitted a significant part of recent transfer income, including what the club described as a “transformational” £3.25million fee for David Turnbull, had been spent.
Weir believes Motherwell should welcome a new investor to work alongside the majority shareholder, the Well Society, which has raised close to £2m in fan contributions, in order to build an element of risk into spending plans.
“We would like someone who is a Motherwell supporter, works with our fan-owned structure, and just provides a better element of financial security,” Weir said. “And that is really what Jim was saying.”
Weir defended recent player turnover as “not out of line” with other clubs and responded to analysis of the club’s recent spending. Motherwell’s staff costs went up 60 per cent in five years and were £6m higher than Kilmarnock for instance over the first six years under fan ownership.
Weir said: “I don’t know anything about the Kilmarnock cost base but I don’t think they spend as much on pitch maintenance and training grounds as we do. That’s fairly obvious.
“Also during the period that’s been talked about, they were relegated at one point. So that was likely to impact the cost base.
“And you are not always comparing like with like. Some clubs for example, if you take match day staff, account for that as staff costs and other clubs put it through as supplier costs.”
Weir also stated that the club’s recent installation of a new £1.2m pitch “had to be done” because the old pitch “stopped draining” and added: “We will recover some of the money because the maintenance costs are certainly down.”
He did admit the club had made mistakes over the resulting work that was done to the John Hunter Stand, which affected views and displaced season ticket holders, and that subsequent remedial work was necessary to get a safety certificate.
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