MOTHERWELL say they are ready to step up their search for a new manager.
The Fir Park outfit have been without a boss since Stuart McCall quit last month - with his assistant Kenny Black acting as caretaker ever since.
Motherwell have received more than 50 applications from hopeful bosses looking to replace former Scotland midfielder McCall but delayed making a decision on his successor while the issue of new ownership is finalised.
But now the Steelmen say they are now ready to whittle down their list of candidates.
In a statement, the club said: “We continue to work to secure new investment and, in the meantime, the board has recommenced the process of seeking a new first-team manager.
“The board has narrowed the extensive candidates list down into something more manageable and will now seek to interview relevant applicants, with a view to making an appointment as swiftly as possible.”
However, questions about who will run the club in the future are still to be answered.
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It is understood Motherwell chiefs have been involved in recent talks with two groups hoping to assume control of the club through John Boyle’s majority shareholding - one is a South American consortium, while a rival bid would see control of the club remain in local hands while maintaining the possibility of fan ownership, through the Well Society.
In May, the Well Society was given until the end of November to take its total funds to £800,000 to maintain its hope of assuming control.
However, by October the fans’ group had been told it would need even more available money to ensure the club be certain of meeting their financial obligations after the new year.
The society, which has raised more than £500,000, is understood to have secured a major offer of finance from a third party to help the club through that period, but negotiations are ongoing as to how the money would be repaid.
Motherwell posted losses of £780,000 in the two seasons 2011-13 and predicted a deficit for last season too, when they finished second in the Scottish Premiership, and also have a historic debt to Boyle of about £350,000.
Their finances for this season have been affected by early exits in the Europa League and League Cup and their league struggles could put them under more financial pressure.
The society was initially set up by the club to assume control of Boyle’s shares in return for raising £1.5 million as a safety net for Motherwell.
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