Motherwell fear administration whether they vote for or against newco
The potential devastation that could be caused to SPL clubs whether a newco Rangers is barred from the league or not became clear last night.
Motherwell FC have become the first club to issue a detailed warning on the costs of a “yes” or “no” vote after the SPL decides the issue on 4 July.
Facing a fans’ backlash if Motherwell vote for the newco, and the loss of television and gate income if they vote against, the Fir Park club’s board predicted that they could end up in administration themselves. The directors said: “It is clear that, if we are unable to replace significant amounts of income lost under either scenario, the club could be facing an insolvency event.”
Under new rules recently agreed by the SPL, Motherwell would then lose 21 points, a third of their total last season when they finished third.
Motherwell’s directors went on to say that with or without a newco Rangers in the SPL, their club would be seriously damaged financially.
A statement issued to fans’ website Firparkcorner.com said: “The Board is of the view that whatever decision is made on the newco vote by the SPL clubs, the financial position of Motherwell FC will suffer. There are clear risks to the financial stability and very future of this club presented by the current situation.”
With the club moving to a fans’ ownership model, Motherwell’s board have sent out ballot forms to shareholders and Well Society members.
Motherwell were unable to say exactly how much would be lost if a newco Rangers was allowed in the SPL and fans carried out their threat to boycott the club. Keeping the newco out, however, would cost an estimated £915,000 through the loss of £600,000 from the SPL’s television and other avenues, and £315,000 in lost gate money and hospitality income.
The board also revealed budget figures for the year ahead. Some £4.5 million – down £300,000 from last season – will be spent, including £1.8 million on the players.
Last year the club earned £670,000 from season tickets and £970,000 from their own and visiting fans paying at the gate. Rangers represented £300,000 of that income, and Celtic some £295,000, with fans of the other nine SPL clubs paying £300,000 in total – the same as Rangers’ fans.
The board added that to make up the shortfall, they would be looking to members, shareholders and supporters to pay increased prices.
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