Prospective Motherwell investors shared inaccurate information from social media

The Wild Sheep Sports plan used a chart taken from an unrelated account on X.

Prospective Motherwell investors shared inaccurate information from social media SNS Group

Motherwell’s majority shareholder has questioned the credibility of an investment offer after prospective chairman Erik Barmack shared a business plan with inaccurate information on the club’s finances.

The Wild Sheep Sports plan used a chart taken from the X account of football finance expert Kieran Maguire in May which compared Scottish Premiership clubs’ finances in the 2022-23 season.

However, several sections relating to Motherwell were incorrect – something Maguire accepted – including the staff costs, which were listed at £3.93million. The correct figure of £5.08million was wrongly inserted in the previous column for commercial revenue.

After the plan was shared on Friday, and before the errors were pointed out, the Motherwell board reiterated its recommendation that shareholders accept the £1.95million offer from Wild Sheep, which would ultimately give it 47 per cent of shares and a dominant position in the boardroom.

In a statement on Sunday, the Well Society, the Fir Park club’s majority shareholder which recommends members reject the proposal in a ballot, said of the Wild Sheep plan: “Motherwell supporters and Well Society members have been requesting this information for some time.

“However, we would also acknowledge the concerns that have been circulating on social media and forums following the release of this document.

“It appears to contain factually inaccurate, thus potentially misleading information, lifted from a social media account, which the author has accepted is incorrect.

“The inclusion of this information at the heart of the Wild Sheep Sports proposal calls into question not only the viability of the investment offer, but the credibility of the process, particularly given that this document was endorsed by the outgoing chairman and executive board in a statement issued following its publication. We have raised this directly with the executive board.

“This only reinforces the impression that there is an attempt to rush this proposal through at all costs, regardless of the impact on fan ownership, our fanbase, or the quality of information available to Well Society members and Motherwell shareholders.”

The content of the Barmack business plan has also sparked criticism. Plans include spending £600,000 on pre and post-match entertainment over the course of the investment period, almost a third of the money on offer.

The fan ownership group said: “We do not believe that there is anything contained within the Wild Sheep Sports strategy document that alleviates the concerns we have previously outlined.

“In fact, certain content – such as suggesting the club commits almost £4m on projects chosen by Wild Sheep Sports over the first three years of the six-year investment period – has caused further concern. We continue to recommend that this proposal is rejected by our members.”

The Well Society, which published its own business plan earlier last week, added that the Wild Sheep document had been shared after the deadline set by the independent organisation which is overseeing the ballot, so neither the plan itself nor their concerns would be available on the voting platform.

The group’s other concerns over the deal include the valuation of the club at less than £4million, the make-up of the boardroom – which would see Wild Sheep control strategy along with club executives.

It also points out the financial risk inherent in a buyback clause which would see it pay out more than £1million after Wild Sheep committed to spending £2.8million in club funds, and continuing financial demands on its members, who would have to commit £1.85million to see their shareholding fall from 71 to 50.1 per cent.

A two-week voting period for members begins on Monday morning.

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