MOTHERWELL will delay the appointment of a new manager until the issue of new ownership is finalised.
Caretaker manager Kenny Black led Motherwell to a 1-0 win over Dundee United on November 7 following Stuart McCall’s resignation and he will continue in charge for Saturday’s Scottish Premiership contest at Inverness.
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It is understood there are two groups in the frame 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.
A Motherwell statement read: “Two weeks after Stuart McCall’s resignation, we are pleased to confirm 55 applicants have put their name forward for the vacant managerial position at Fir Park.
“We have been extremely encouraged by the quality and calibre of applicants from across the world, which includes 20 different nationalities.
“The board has started the process of agreeing a shortlist of candidates we would like to formally interview.
“In May, the club released a statement advising we were in the process of seeking new investment. Discussions are ongoing with interested parties and we are planning to reach a conclusion by the end of the current month.
“As a result, the board has agreed to delay the appointment of a new manager until the issue of ongoing ownership of the club is resolved.
“We have spoken at length with Kenny Black and he enthusiastically agreed to continue in the role as caretaker manager until a full-time appointment is made.
“We are extremely grateful to Kenny and the rest of the management team for their co-operation during this period as we look forward to the next chapter in the club’s history.”
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, last month it was told it would need even more available money to ensure the club be certain of meeting its 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 £1.5million as a safety net for Motherwell.
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