Well So­ci­ety pur­chase a ma­jor­ity of shares for £1

The Herald - Herald Sport - - LADBROKES PREMIERSHIP - FROM FRONT PAGE

Les Hutchi­son have been suc­cess­fully con­cluded and the club has now trans­ferred into fan own­er­ship.

“The So­ci­ety wish to ac­knowl­edge and to thank Mr Les Hutchi­son for his valu­able in­put to the club in terms of fi­nan­cial sup­port and busi­ness ex­pe­ri­ence, and for as­sist­ing in our drive to­wards fan own­er­ship.

“They would also like to thank Mr John Boyle for his huge ser­vice over the years as ma­jor­ity share­holder and con­tin­u­ing sup­port and as­sis­tance in con­clud­ing this suc­cess­ful trans­fer agree­ment. And fi­nally, to the loyal, ded­i­cated, pas­sion­ate Mother­well sup­port­ers, with­out whom, none of this would have hap­pened.”

Formed in 2012, the Well So­ci­ety is made up of fans who have both paid a lump sum from £300 up­wards and those who con­trib­ute via di­rect debit.

As part of the han­dover deal, an agree­ment has been reached that all money owed to Mr Hutchi­son on loan re­pay­ments will be taken only from a per­cent­age of trans­fer fee in­come for the first three years. This will al­low those run­ning the club to con­tinue to rein­vest any po­ten­tial funds and se­cure the club fi­nan­cially be­fore a struc­tured re­pay­ment sched­ule be­gins in 2019.

Jim McMa­hon, Mother­well chair­man and founder mem­ber of the Well So­ci­ety, ad­mit­ted it has not been an easy road on the way to this mo­men­tous oc­ca­sion for the Fir Park club.

“The last two years have been dra­matic and chal­leng­ing for the club,” he said. “Hav­ing tri­umphed in the play offs we all hoped that the next pe­riod would be more set­tled and al­low us to move grad­u­ally to fan own­er­ship over the five-year timescale en­vis­aged. In­stead the op­por­tu­nity arose al­most im­me­di­ately and it is a credit to the Well So­ci­ety that they have been able to deal with the abrupt change. I agreed to act as chair­man dur­ing that tran­si­tion and it is an hon­our to serve the club that I have sup­ported all my life.

“I ap­pre­ci­ate there have been dif­fer­ent views ex­pressed in meet­ings, on­line and on so­cial me­dia about the va­lid­ity of fan own­er­ship, but it is now up to us to make this work – for our part, we will aim to be­come more open, change the gov­er­nance struc­ture and lis­ten to all and any ways to help. This is a real chance to do some­thing spe­cial.”

Dou­glas Dickie, Well So­ci­ety joint chair, added: “Our aim of fan-own­er­ship has been, at times, a chal­leng­ing road, but it has been achieved by a great amount of ef­fort by Well So­ci­ety mem­bers, fans and vol­un­teers.

“It has also been made pos­si­ble by a num­ber of peo­ple who have given their ex­per­tise and com­mit­ment over a pe­riod of time to reach a sat­is­fac­tory con­clu­sion to our goal. We are now en­ter­ing a new phase in our his­tory.

“Fan own­er­ship has re­spon­si­bil­i­ties and we all need to re­alise that con­tin­ued and grow­ing fi­nan­cial sup­port from all fans will be re­quired. To­gether we can main­tain, strengthen and be proud of the qual­i­ties and val­ues of this great Com­mu­nity Club. The fu­ture is what we make it!”

As of Septem­ber, the Well So­ci­ety had a to­tal of 1920 mem­bers with 1402 adults and 518 ju­niors, a fig­ure that brought in an in­come of £10,000 the month prior. The tar­get is to get that fig­ure up to­wards £20,000.

For more in­for­ma­tion visit www. thewell­so­ci­ety.co.uk

In­stead, the op­por­tu­nity arose al­most im­me­di­ately and it is a credit to the Well So­ci­ety that they have been able to deal with the abrupt change

ON BOARD: Mother­well vet­eran Keith Lasley pro­motes the Well So­ci­ety

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