Fans to join board at Motherwell

Motherwell aim to avoid reliance on a wealthy benefactor
Motherwell aim to become a club owned by the local community of fans

Motherwell plan to bring two fans on to their board early next year as a first step towards the ultimate aim of making the club owned wholly by supporters.

The club are devising a membership scheme to take over former chairman John Boyle's majority shareholding.

And Fir Park vice chairman Derek Weir is excited by the project.

"John has kindly gifted his shares and we'll use them to try and raise money and, more importantly, to get fans involved," he told BBC Scotland.

"We've come up with the idea of the Well Society and supporters can subscribe at different levels, starting at £300 and going all the way up to local businesses putting in £25,000.

"It will be one member, one vote and the society will have representation, with an initial couple of slots on the board.

"The ultimate aim, once the society is up and running and functioning properly, is for all of John's shareholding, which is the controlling interest, to be transferred over and the fans would directly own the club."

Around 45% of Boyle's holdings will be made available, with the remaining 55% migrated when the society is ready to take on majority control of the Scottish Premier League club.

Around 300 fans turned up at an open meeting on Monday to hear more about the plans, which are awaiting approval from the Financial Services Authority.

The first to sign up was Scotland international James McFadden, who launched his career at Fir Park, while club captain Stephen Craigan has pledged to become member number two.

Weir expects the scheme to launch in November, with the club hoping to raise £1.5m over the next 12 months.