Playing a Fine Motherwell…Again

By David Patrick Lane | September 8th, 2011 1 Comment



Motherwell, the Scottish Football Club who introduced a sophisticated passing game and a collective team approach to spectators in South Africa, are once again at the forefront of the game’s development. This time Motherwell are showing how to tackle the hooligans that hang out in far too many board rooms.

According to a report by Gavin McCafferty in today’s “Scotsman“, Motherwell plan to bring two fans on to their board as a first step towards the aim of making the club owned wholly by supporters. There will be a £300 one-off fee, with a voluntarily annual fee of £50 thereafter to retain benefits. More wealthy supporters and businesses can pay up to £25,000 to join, with added benefits, but each member will have one vote. The members will vote representatives on to the club’s board, initially two, but chief executive Leeann Dempster yesterday revealed the end game was full ownership and total democracy in running the Lanarkshire club.

About 300 fans turned up at an open meeting on Monday and Dempster was encouraged by the general feedback from supporters. “They can contribute to the financial security of the club,” Dempster said. “This is the first time they have the opportunity to be properly involved. I think that’s what excites people the most – the thought of being able to nominate or be nominated to be on the board. Two members of the society will be on the board. They will enact the wants of the other members. “We want to get to a stage where that will develop further and more members will come on to the board. Hopefully to a point where, once it’s clear that the model is working, we can transition full ownership of the club over to the society. You can’t go from a model of having one benefactor on the board to the next day having supporters running the club. That would cause enormous problems. So we’re not naive enough to think you can just do that and forget about it.”

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1 Comment

Peter

September 9th, 2011 | 6:25 am    


Ever since I discovered Motherwell’s astounding impact on black South African football in the early 1930s I’ve had a soft spot for this Scottish side. So now I’m pleased to hear about this first step toward supporter-owned football, whatever the final version of this will be. It’s probably the only way to go at this point, with corporate football having pretty much taken over the globe. Of course, we must still fight to have more footie on free-to-air TV, reasonable ticket prices, and so on . . . but ultimately an alternative is needed and fans are key to making it happen.
One approach is that of the Bundesliga (http://bit.ly/ceDrW2). I recently went to the Hertha-Stuttgart match in Berlin and it was a very good experience which I should blog about. A different approach has been that of F.C. United of Manchester (http://www.fc-utd.co.uk/history.php) and Hapoel Katamon Jerusalem (http://bit.ly/nZh3o9). Over in the NFL, the Green Bay Packers are a publicly owned, nonprofit corporation with 112,158 stockholders who do not receive dividends and are prohibited from owning more than 200,000 shares. People before profits!

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