Over this past year, you may have noticed that we have listened to the concerns around communication with both members and non-members alike. We know that it’s an area that we need to continually improve upon, and we look to you for feedback on what you’d like to see.
As a direct result of an enquiry, we are now publishing notes from the minutes from our monthly Board meetings, and are inviting questions and agenda items from our members. This now forms a standing agenda point and not only are responses directly fed back, we are also including the relevant answers as part of our weekly Well Society Newsletter. We hope that this will allow all supporters to get the answers they want and deserve.
Subsequently, we have been asked about the financial relationship between the club and The Well Society which we answered honestly. It seems however, some confusion has been generated, namely the suggestion by The Well Society that it is reasonable to expect that loans provided to the club will not be repaid.
The Well Society model has changed since its formation, as the idea and prospect of fan-ownership has evolved and become a reality. We do, however feel our model is the best available now. This essentially involves the Society’s finances centering around pledges from our members, mostly monthly, with the Society Board then able to use the group’s finances both for the Society itself – in terms of administration costs, hosting events, and other outgoings– and investment in our club.
Financial sums are invested into the club after serious consideration and assessment, and this is not something we do without due care. As owners of the club, it is important that the Well Society is in a position to invest in Motherwell Football Club if and when it is deemed worthwhile or necessary. The Well Society, as owners must appreciate and expect the “normal” position to be as guardians of the Club we require to invest. Should a situation then arise in the future where the club receives a major financial windfall, there would then be scope to open discussions on paying back some of this investment back to the Society.
For example, in 2014 The Well Society (prior to ownership) provided the club with £230,000 to help it through a temporary cash flow issue. The money was then repaid at the end of the season with the help of prize money for finishing 2nd in the SPL.
We believe that the Well Society membership, as majority shareholders within the Club, would prefer that the Club was free to invest any profits from player sales or competition winnings back into the playing staff or Youth Academy, rather than back into the Well Society.
Ongoing pledges from members, rather than the original model of one-off payments, and therefore regular income, makes our position advantageous in being able to invest in our club on behalf of our membership if it is deemed beneficial.
We also believe that, as keen as we are to explore ways in which to involve our membership as a whole in the decision making process, ballots or open discussions regarding finances would be extremely difficult due to the sensitive nature of the information.
We hope that we have been able to provide clarity on this situation and would welcome any further questions or feedback by e-mail on firstname.lastname@example.org.