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Fan ownership

Supporters take control at Motherwell

motherwell-fcFootball – Motherwell has become a fan-owned club after the Well Society concluded their takeover from Les Hutchinson.

The Well Society supporters group acquired a 76% shareholding from the Barbados-based Scot for £1.

Hutchison bought the Fir Park club for the same sum in January 2015 from entrepreneur John Boyle.

The club become the first in Scotland’s Premiership to become fully owned by the fans. Hearts are expected to follow suit as businesswoman Anne Budge pursues an eventual handover to the Foundation of Hearts.

A number of Championship clubs are already owned by supporters. In July, St Mirren a acquired by former director Gordon Scott and the St Mirren Independent Supporters Association.

Dunfermline Athletic is fan owned, and Hibernian has launched a share issue to hand more control to supporters. League Two clubs Clyde and Stirling Albion are also controlled by the terrace faithful.

In a statement the Well Society said: “An important element in the agreement is that loan repayments for the first three years will be made from a percentage of player transfer income only.

“This means that the club will not be burdened with loan repayments from regular income during this period but will still benefit from player transfers by receiving a percentage of transfer fee income.

“After the initial three-year period, outstanding loans will be repaid on a fixed payment schedule. All of these factors protect the financial security of the club.

“Our ongoing responsibility as fans, through the Well Society, will be to generate additional income for the running of the football club through monthly direct debit payments of £10 or more.

“The income generated by our fans via the Well Society will be crucial to our financial stability over the coming years.”

Well Society joint chairman Douglas Dickie said: “Fan ownership has responsibilities and we all need to realise that continued and growing financial support from all fans will be required.”

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