'Well Fans Left Unimpressed by US Investment Offer

Last updated : 10 June 2024 By Firparkcorner

Motherwell fans eager to debate the merits of external investment in the club will be disappointed by a derisory offer which will surely be rejected out of hand.

Months of waiting to see what investors were willing to put on the table ended today with the simple answer 'not a lot'.

The Well Society, and its recently refreshed board, will soon turn its attention to the future of the club.


But first they must convince fans to reject the bid, led by former Netflix executive Erik Barmack, in the two week vote which opens July 1.

In truth, it should not be hard.

Barmack has proposed investing £1.95m over six years while the Society must raise £1.35m and forgive over £400k of debt it is owed in the same period.

Except this will see Barmack's shareholding go from zero to a controlling 49% while the Society's share is slashed by over a third.

Shareholders in any other walk of life would laugh this proposal out the door.

Equally problematic is that Barmack would be handed the keys to Fir Park immediately for the £300k he will use to purchase his 8% stake in the first year of the investment plan.

Again, there is virtually no other business where the owners would cede control for such a paltry sum.

Fan ownership guarantees the survival of our football club, handing the reins to an outsider - who, despite his warm words, seems to have picked us from the other side of the world because he likes the colours - puts that at risk.

That is not to say bankruptcy awaits by any means but the Society will always act in what it believes to be the best interests of the club. The same cannot be said of Barmack who has never run a club before and could well be attracted by newer, shinier toys at any point.

The recommendation of the Executive Board will be analysed carefully, as will the motivation of outgoing chairman Jim McMahon.

The reasoning as to why the club should be sold at a 30% discount to its most recently published net asset value is highly debatable.

We can only speculate as to why Barmack is interested in us. There is a good narrative story for sure but solid finances - we are in substantial profit in the fan-owned era - and the prospect of even further revenue from television deals and UEFA - guaranteed in a couple of years - will not have gone unnoticed.

He is perfectly entitled to ask for a bargain but he wishes to control the club, and with it future decision-making over debt and Fir Park, for less than the value of Lennon Miller.

The Society Board is not only entitled but obligated to call it out for what it is. They are quite correct to recommend the bid be rejected and we can be confident a majority of Well Society members will agree with them.

The Well Society board view

The club statement