Sparra, Busta and Jay look back on Saturday’s fightback to earn a 2-2 draw with Hibs at Easter Road, discuss Louis Moult rediscovering his spark, consider whether Motherwell should be looking to extend Stephen Robinson’s contract and preview the double header against Aberdeen in the company of ByTheMinAberdeen’s Richard Hay.
Following sound issue during the original recording of the podcast, Sparra was joined by Graham Barnstaple and Peter Elder to look back on the 2-0 victory over Kilmarnock, preview the forthcoming fixture against Hibernian at Easter, discuss the Motherwell squad joining the ‘Well Society, the decision of the EPL clubs to close their summer transfer window and much more.
Motherwell F.C, Chief Operating Officer, Alan Burrows joins Sparra, Busta and Jay to reflect on the transfer window, update on Project Brave, look ahead to the future at Fir Park, go over the under-20’s injury-time loss to Crusaders, preview Saturday’s fixture with Kilmarnock and much, much more.
Another transfer-window and while Jim White and his band of over excited reporters cry with delight as the transfer total for the English Premier League clubs since June rises beyond the £1.3 BILLION mark, Scottish clubs are battling to secure loan-deals, free transfers and to retain their prized assets in the face of derisory offers from their English counterparts.
There’s little point in me spending a great deal of time moaning about the spending levels in modern football – it’s a debate that has been done to death. Although it also can be very difficult at times like this when it is constantly shoved down our throat – we’ve even got a page on the BBC Sport website where if you enter your yearly income it’ll tell you how many centuries it will take you to earn his yearly salary. Those reporting on these absurd transfers aren’t only embracing the staggering money involved they are promoting it and making light of it.
It feels like there’s little hiding place from this nonsense, deadline-day is a Sky Sports led PR machine that has expanded on a yearly basis. Deadline-day has now reached the point where club’s down south appear to be in on the act, waiting to the final day to finalise deals and create that extra ‘excitement’, however while the eye-watering levels of spending continues in England and across the rest of European football’s ‘elite leagues’, spare a thought for the rest of us left behind by the this stunt.
The Knock-On Effect
Let me get this back on track finally…
While the astronomical levels of spending down south are generally exclusive to the top two leagues, the increased revenue of the lower league sides is proving to be a thorn in the side of a number of Scottish clubs.
For Motherwell fans transfer deadline-day is rarely a day worth crowding outside Fir Park for, sorry I’ll rephrase that, it has never been a day for doing that, although recent years have seen us buck the trend somewhat a move some deals both in and out over the line on the final day. This summer an interest in a number of our top assets has caused some concern with the club being challenged to show resolve in the face of a number of derisory offers for players of huge importance to the team.
This is not particularly unfamiliar territory for Motherwell or indeed the majority of Scottish clubs who often are required to sell a player to a so-called ‘bigger club’ in order to keep functioning as they should. Indeed it’s not been a secret that Motherwell sell ‘a vision’ to players that if they perform well in their time at the club then they will reap the rewards with a move to the promised land of English football. However the landscape is changing their too, what was once a move to a ‘bigger team’ now seems to be pretty much a sideways move in terms of average crowds and honours, but a staggering leap in income.
There has been an element of positive news from the bonkers deals in England, when one of our former players, Marvin Johnson departed his current side Oxford for Middlesbrough in a deal that will net ‘Well around £750,000 in sell-on fees, but again the knock-on effect kicks in.
Oxford have now netted around £9million in transfer-fees in the last year and while a player making the step-up from League One to the Championship in England commands a substantial transfer fee, the teams in League One clearly don’t share the same view of Scottish players moving to ply their trade in the English lower divisions. This is clearly represented in derisory offers for players such as Chris Cadden and Louis Moult who both have already been targeted by the League One outfit, but with offers well below their value.
There’s a degree of arrogance to this, in my view this is an attitude to being surrounded by the big money of the EPL and the Championship. Washed-up former manager David Pleat produced a staggering interview on radio earlier this year where he suggested along the lines of there were ‘some good players in Scottish football, if you looked hard enough’, this in relation to Jackson Irvine, a player who left Ross County for Burton Albion, only to move for big money to Hull City a year later. Look down your nose all you like at our game, but while you can suggest that the lack of infrastructure and facilities or bad diet and drink culture or ruining our game, why not consider we also have the proximity to the big money and sheer arrogance of English football?
While I need to concede that a Motherwell or Kilmarnock can’t compete with an Oxford or Burton Albion financially, I do struggle to accept they have a substantially more spending power due to deadline-day, Sky Sports and this seemingly never ending circus.
Jim White might be wetting himself with excitement, Leicester and West Brom may be signing a new left-back from Italy that nobody has ever heard of out of sheer panic, if this is your version of football and excitement, I want out.
Sparra, Busta and Jay welcome along Motherwell club journalist, Lewis Irons to look back on the victory over Ross County, reflect on success for the U20’s in the Irn Bru Cup, discuss transfer speculation around Fir Park, pay tribute to Stephen McManus as he calls time on his playing career, look ahead to Saturday’s meeting with Hearts and much more.
The MFC Podcast will be hosting a football shirt amnesty at Fir Park’s Centenary Suite on Sunday 27th August between 10am & 1pm.
Most of us will have football shirts that you, your children or family members have grown out of or no longer wear – we aim to ensure these shirts don’t go to waste while raising money for our ‘Off-Air 3’ publication where all proceeds will be donated to the ‘Well Society’. On the day you will also be able to place your vote as Motherwell fans decide on the club’s 25 Greatest Post-War Players, as well as being able to pre-order your copy of the book in which the results of the vote will be revealed.
On Sunday 27th, everyone is welcome to come along to Fir Park, pick a shirt and make a donation to ‘Off-Air 3’.
On four evening’s leading up to the amnesty, members of the podcast team will be at Fir Park to accept donations of football shirts – please note we can’t accept donations on the day.
Thursday 17th August – Fir Park Main Entrance – 6pm-8pm
Friday 18th August – Fir Park Main Entrance – 6pm-8pm
Thursday 24th August – Fir Park Main Entrance -6pm-8pm
Friday 25th August – Fir Park Main Entrance – 6pm-8pm
We can also accept postal deliveries of shirts, please email email@example.com and we will provide a postal address.
These shirts DO NOT need to be Motherwell shirts, all we ask is that the shirts are washed before donation. All sizes will of course also be accepted.
Please spread the word with friends and family and let’s hope we can have as many people along to Fir Park on August 27th for a successful event.
Sparra and Jay are joined by Herald and Times Deputy Head of Sport, Scott Mullen to discuss the highly controversial defeat to St Johnstone, look back on the midweek League Cup win against Ross County, debate the transfer window and whether Louis Moult will remain at Fir Park, reflect on Jacob Blyth departing Fir Park and much more.
Sparra, Busta & Jay congregate to discuss the narrow 2-1 defeat to Rangers on Sunday, the upcoming matches in Dingwall and Perth, the progress of our new signings, the recent unveiling of the club’s new mascots, and more.
Sparra, Busta and Joe McKelvie are joined by Motherwell assistant manager Keith Lasley to look back on Motherwell’s final two Betfred League Cup fixtures and react to the draw for the last 16. Also on the agenda was a preview to the start of the new Scottish Premiership, Keith’s reaction to Carl McHugh replacing him as club captain, Louis Moult’s future at the club, the Fir Park Open Day, The Well Society welcoming Syrian guests to Fir Park and much, much more.
Around forty Syrian refugees currently residing in Lanarkshire will be making their way to Fir Park on Saturday, as Motherwell play host to Berwick Rangers in the ‘Well’s last match of the Scottish League Cup group stages.
Invited and hosted by the Well Society, Saturday’s guests could be potentially treated to a goal-fest, with the Steelmen notching up nine goals in the opening two League Cup matches against Queen’s Park and Greenock Morton.
The move signals both the continuation of the club’s heavily community-based ethos, while signalling a greater desire by the Well Society to be involved with local people.
There are around two hundred Syrian refugees now living in Lanarkshire as a result of the UK Government’s Syrian Vulnerable Peoples Resettlement Scheme which aims to resettle 20,000 refugees from camps around Syria by 2020.
Commenting, the Well Society’s Jason Henderson said:
“Motherwell is truly a community club by any definition – the club’s identity and history is entwined with not just the town of Motherwell but with Lanarkshire in its entirety; the Motherwell F.C. Community Trust carries out incredibly worthwhile work on a daily basis; and this season marks the historic first campaign with our club being fully community-owned.”
“With all that in mind, we want to play a bigger part in the wider community – not just engaging with and supporting Motherwell fans where we can, but also doing so for the community as a whole and this is a great example of that.”
“Lanarkshire has welcomed a large number of refugees from Syria over the past couple of years, families who have been forced from their homes thousands of miles away and are working hard to now build their lives as our neighbours and friends – we want to give them the opportunity to enjoy a day out at Fir Park on Saturday, take in the experience of a cup tie in Scotland, and, with any luck, cheer the Steelmen on to victory!”
Ryan Murrant, Marketing & Fan Engagement Manager at Motherwell F.C., added:
“Saturday’s initiative is the result of fantastic work by the Well Society – inclusion is what this club and the community are about, and being able to welcome our Syrian guests to the Berwick Rangers match highlights that.”
“The club is grateful to Jason and the rest of the Well Society Board, as well as both North and South Lanarkshire Councils, for making this happen – it goes without saying we hope all our guests enjoy their day and hopefully get a goal or two to celebrate.”