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Toxteth O'Grady

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  1. My mate has just told me his old man received a phone call from Tony Watt yesterday, asking if he was ok and if he needed anything. Apparently the club are calling all season ticket holders over 70. Really nice touch.
  2. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-8158959/Hearts-owner-Ann-Budge-rejects-takeover-offer-Barnsley-chief.html Hearts owner Ann Budge rejects takeover offer from Paul Conway after Barnsley chief eyed talks with cash-strapped Scottish clubs rocked by coronavirus shutdown Ann Budge has turned down the offer of Hearts takeover talks with Paul Conway Premiership rivals Motherwell poised to reject approach from Barnsley chief The American businessman is in the market to add an SPFL team to his portfolio By STEPHEN MCGOWAN FOR MAILONLINE PUBLISHED: 06:21, 27 March 2020 | UPDATED: 08:13, 27 March 2020 Ann Budge has turned down the offer of Hearts takeover talks with Barnsley chief Paul Conway. And Premiership rivals Motherwell are also poised to reject an approach from the owners of the English Championship club. As Sportsmail first revealed, American businessman Conway is in the market to add an SPFL team to a footballing portfolio which already incorporates Barnsley and Swiss club FC Thun. A bid to buy Scottish Championship strugglers Partick Thistle last year was frustrated by dual ownership rules. With the SFA willing to relax the regulations to attract investment to a Scottish game stricken by the coronavirus crisis, however, Conway has already made overtures to Hearts and Motherwell. And, after releasing a strongly worded statement defending the Edinburgh club's request to staff to accept a 50 per cent pay cut, Tynecastle owner Budge reiterated plans to hand over her 75.1% stake in the club to fans' group Foundation of Hearts later this year. 'I did receive a call from Paul and indeed over recent months I have received similar calls from a number of other would-be investors,' she told Sportsmail. 'In line with my contractual commitment to the fans to transfer ownership of Hearts to them, other than informing the Hearts board of the approaches, I have pursued none of them.' Sportsmail can also reveal that a colleague of Conway's also made contact with Premiership rivals Motherwell in recent days. Debt-free for the first time in 40 years following the January sale of James Scott to Hull City for £1.5million the Lanarkshire club believe they can withstand the temporary loss of income wrought by the suspension of Scottish football. Willing to hold talks with any SPFL clubs with realistic ambitions of top tier football, however, Conway said: 'We want to take this opportunity in the current environment to say to clubs in Scotland, 'we are open for business.' 'We are hearing there might be more flexibility with regard to dual ownership, which might be a good thing during this difficult period for clubs. 'We can move fast for the right opportunity in the Scottish league and we are open to creative deals. 'To that end we have told the SFA and the league to feel free to get the word out that we are open to conversations with Scottish clubs.' Both the SFA and the English Football League have explicit rules governing individuals in charge of a club controlling or having a major say in another British side without written consent. Newcastle owner Mike Ashley obtained permission to take a 10 per cent financial stake in Rangers - but was charged by the governing body when he tried to install his own directors on the Ibrox board. Frustrated by the same rules when he tried to secure a 55 per cent stake in Partick Thistle last year Conway travelled to Glasgow for talks on four separate occasions before the Championship club were eventually purchased for fans by late lottery winner Colin Weir. To avoid lightning striking twice Conway has entered correspondence with the SFA over a relaxation of the rules - with the governing body now willing to consider allowing existing owners of British clubs to take up a 24.9 per cent stake in a Scottish team.
  3. 25 years to the day since Davie Cooper died Still my favourite Motherwell player.
  4. https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/celtic-target-david-turnbull-undergoes-21732220 A second (minor) operation for the "Celtic target"
  5. https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/51987591 Motherwell CEO Alan Burrows says club are in "good shape" to deal with coronavirus pandemic 52 minutes ago From the sectionMotherwell Sharethis page Motherwell chief executive Alan Burrows admits it is "optimistic" to expect the league season to be completed by the Uefa deadline of June Motherwell chief executive Alan Burrows says it is "optimistic at best" to expect Scottish domestic football to be finished by June. But he is confident his fan-owned club are in a good financial position to deal with the impact of coronavirus, despite admitting matters could get "very difficult, very quickly". Scottish football has been suspended until at least April 30. "We've managed finances well over the last couple of years," he said. "In reality for us though, whilst we see ourselves in relatively good shape to get through it, it only takes one or two things to fall for us, for things to get very difficult very quickly. "That not withstanding, I'm confident in the supporter base, the Well society, and extremely confident in the guys that run the club to help us get through this issue." Burrows, who is on the SPFL board, says the decision on how to proceed with the domestic season will be taken after there is "clarity" from the government. He admits league payments on placings could "keep clubs afloat" in the summer. "If we're being realistic, we've got to understand having the season completed before the end of June, which is the deadline for the domestic fixtures to be complete by Uefa, is very optimistic," he told Sportsound. "It's all going to depend on circumstance. A lot of the SPFL payments are determined on where you finish. Maybe those payments are the raft that keeps clubs afloat in the summer. "There are a lot of really tough decisions to be made, but at this moment in time, we need to wait for the next week or two to hopefully get clarity from government in terms of what's going to happen, then really difficult work begins to decide what we're going to do here in terms of playing out the season or if it is finished, how it is decided."
  6. https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/sport/football/5405817/motherwell-alan-burrows-coroanvirus-survival-42-clubs-spfl/ FIGHT TOGETHER Coronavirus Scotland: Motherwell chief Alan Burrows says survival of all 42 league clubs is a priority EXCLUSIVE Andy Devlin 19 Mar 2020, 22:31 ALAN BURROWS has urged Scottish football fans to unite in a bid to ensure all 42 league clubs survive the coronavirus lockdown. Less than 24 hours after Hearts asked all staff to take a whopping 50 percent pay cut, the Motherwell chief executive and SPFL board member laid bare his fears amid these unprecedented times. The majority of clubs in Scotland are facing an uncertain financial future with matches scrapped and leagues in limbo. SPFL CEO Neil Doncaster has already appealed for government intervention in a bid to stave off the very real threat of Armageddon and Burrows has pleaded with punters to put aside their differences and unite for the greater good. He said: “One of the things I have been saying, and it’s one of the main priorities as far as I am concerned, is that we must ensure when this has all blown over that all 42 clubs are still here. “There has been so much talk about final league placings and the ramifications of that. But right now we need to get everyone through this. “We need to help those clubs who need it and stop, perhaps, obsessing about ourselves and our own team. “But, of course, we need to get some clarity on what happens next. “If that’s it and the season is to end here, then we can at least start distributing the money so at least clubs can start to plan ahead. “Fans always back their team, no matter what, but right now I think every club in the country needs their supporters to go that extra mile for them, particularly in the lower leagues. “It’s going to be very difficult for a lot of clubs. They will need help, for sure.” Motherwell banked £1.5million from the sale of James Scott just prior to the closure of the January transfer window. Having also paid back John Boyle and Les Hutchinson in full, the Fir Park club is completely debt free. But that hasn’t stopped Burrows and his dedicated team rolling out next year’s season tickets now in an effort to ease any cashflow concerns. He confessed: “This is uncharted territory. It’s very difficult to look ahead and plan and prepare. One thing we are working on right now is season tickets. “We are trying to get them out for next season as soon as possible because obviously the cashflow situation isn’t going to improve in the coming weeks. “The earlier we get the season tickets out there the better and hopefully our fans can get behind that because it will help the club massively in the short term. “We are the only fan-owned team in the Premiership, so by very definition our fans are the core of our club. The earlier we get the money in the better.” Like every other football fan in the country, Burrows is hoping for clarity sooner rather than later. Yet he reckons it’s increasingly unlikely the current season will be played to a conclusion. He said: “I think we would all like the football issues that are still outstanding to be settled on the pitch. “That goes for all sports, you want it settled on the field or between the athletes. “If we are being honest, and given what the scientists are telling us what to expect over the coming months, I think that scenario becomes less likely. “It won’t be impossible, but I think it will be very difficult. If that is to arise then we need certainty and we need it quickly. “Right now clubs up and down the country are in limbo because of the uncertainty. “I am saying to you about pushing forward our season ticket sales, but what if you are CEO at a club and you’re not sure what division you will be playing in next season? “How do you sell that to supporters? “Clubs need to be given the chance to plan accordingly. We need clarity and the earlier the better so we can start planning for next season. “I fully understand there’s a global crisis at the moment and football is only a very small part of that. “But football is a £1.25billion business as far as Scotland is concerned. That’s what it brings to our economy, it’s part of Scottish society and our psyche. “Football is a way of life in Scotland. And I would hope that the government take that into consideration.” But, like most people, he’s been working from home with only a skeleton staff present at the ground. He revealed: “In terms of what we’re doing as a club, we’re basically adhering to the guidelines set out by the government. “Most people are working from home, we have one or two people still in at the club, but they are working in separate rooms. “They are basically in to answer the phones. We have set up a rota system, but everyone else, including the football staff, are working from home. “I think I am annoying people with the amount of emails I have been sending but, at a small club like Motherwell, it is very much hands on, not just with me, but with everyone who works at the club. “Everyone mucks in. Working from home just makes life that bit more difficult. But you have to adapt.”
  7. https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/sport/football/5402153/tony-watt-motherwell-extend-contract-silence-doubters/ WELL WISHER Tony Watt wants extended Motherwell stay as he aims to silence doubters Roger Hannah 18 Mar 2020, 22:35Updated: 18 Mar 2020, 22:35 TONY WATT can’t tell fans when he’ll next pull on a Motherwell jersey as the coronavirus crisis bites deep into Scottish football. But the far-travelled strike star is determined to answer his critics by wearing the Steelmen’s shirt for some time to come. Tony Watt celebrates after scoring for MotherwellCredit: Andy Barr - The Sun Glasgow The Scotland cap has played for 12 clubs in five countries since kicking off his career at Airdrie a decade ago. Still only 26, he knows the cynics say he has “untapped potential” that’s still to be fulfilled. But he reckons extending his stay at Fir Park for at least another two years will finally silence the doubters. Watt said: “I need to be somewhere for a period of time. I tried to do it at St Johnstone last year but, for one or two reasons, it didn’t work out. “I feel I’ve been lucky with the set-up at Motherwell, coming back to Scotland after my time in Bulgaria, with them in third place. “I need to be at a club for two years — minimum. If I can play well enough, I need to be somewhere to make a mark rather than having this untapped potential. “Everyone says, ‘Oh, he’s got ability but he’s not done it’. “I need to put positive words in people’s mouths by staying in one place for a long period of time and not moving.” Watt has scored twice in six games for Well since penning a short-term deal after his January exit from CSKA Sofia. After time in Belgium, England and Wales, the frontman would love to put down roots in Lanarkshire. And despite the uncertainty gripping the game right now, he’s already spoken to Stephen Robinson and the Fir Park hierarchy about extending his stay. He added: “The manager had me in after a day and said, ‘I like you, I know what I can get out you’. “I was in his office a week ago and he was saying those things again. “You can see why Motherwell are where they are with the demands on the players. “He has been so good with me and I’d like to pay him back. “The quality is there as well and, if they do get Europe, it’s totally deserved. “I’m out of contract soon but the club has been good and told me I’m there to the summer with a view to next year. “You trust what they say and trust how they look after you. It’s a good club and I’ve not really worried.” Watt and his team-mates are training alone after their home clash with Aberdeen was the first top-flight game called off by the outbreak six days ago. They won’t return to Fir Park until Monday at the earliest but have a strict training schedule to keep them fit in case the season does resume. Watt revealed: “It feels strange. We were preparing for the Aberdeen game when we got a text telling us to stay away until Monday. "Things escalated and we have now been told to stay away until this Monday. “It’s been madness — something that I never, ever expected would happen. “We have been given a programme with options to run on treadmills, track or road. We have weight programmes online on our phones to go through everything. “The sports scientist, Andy Boles, has been spot on with it all. “It’s week by week for us all at the moment. We will play it by ear with the government and nothing has been confirmed in terms of a return. “The club will decide if we’re in in ones or twos or all in together when we go back. There is no certainty and no one has an answer. “The first day we’re back, we’ll be tested and, if they see a gap in fitness, it will leave a bad taste. “If you go back unfit, you can’t fool anybody. They will see straight away and be unhappy. “For your own career, you have to go back in good shape so we are all taking the advice seriously.”
  8. https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/51870540 Champions League and Europa League suspended
  9. The police wouldn't let Motherwell fans walk up past the Main Stand to Gorgie Road after the game. Similarly, Hearts fans weren't allowed to go in the other direction. Seemed completely OTT to me, and meant I had a long walk back to my car.
  10. https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/51721467 Motherwell: Manager Stephen Robinson keen to reward club's loyalty after assault case 31 minutes ago Motherwell have gone eight matches without victory Scottish Premiership: Motherwell v Ross County Venue: Fir Park Stadium, Motherwell Date: Wednesday, 4 March Kick-off: 19:45 GMT Coverage: Updates on BBC Radio Scotland 810MW/DAB/online & the BBC Sport Scotland website Stephen Robinson says "a weight has been lifted off me" as he pledged to repay Motherwell for their loyalty throughout his domestic abuse case. The Motherwell manager was cleared on Friday at Edinburgh Sheriff Court of assaulting partner Robyn Lauchlan on 13 December last year. Robinson insists the case had no bearing on Motherwell's form, with the club on an eight-game winless run. "It was very stressful on all my family and everyone involved in it," he said. "But justice has been done and we can draw a line under it. (Chief executive) Alan Burrows and (chairman) Jim McMahon, the whole board, have been fantastic with myself and my family, and I can't ask for any more. "I put my brave face on, which you have to. My determination is to reward those people for their loyalty to me and make sure we finish strongly this season." Robinson admits the backing of the fans was a major boost - especially when they were chanting his name. "It's been absolutely huge," he said. "I don't get too emotional but I have to say at Dundee walking down when the crowd were at the back of the stand, it's very emotional. I am more desperate than anyone to turn these results around and give them a season to remember." Motherwell remain third in the Scottish Premiership despite taking just two points from their last six matches, and Robinson says the downturn in results cannot be pinned on the battle to clear his name. "The club have been fantastic," he said. "They were unwavering in their support for me. They knew what I was doing, they see my work ethic and all the staff's work ethic. That didn't change throughout this. "There were numerous reasons why we weren't winning - loss of form, suspensions and injuries, and everyone forgot to mention we lost Devante Cole and James Scott, and Chris Long for long periods."
  11. Not guilty https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/news/5333668/motherwell-stephen-robinson-trial-assault-cleared/
  12. https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-transfer-news/rickie-lamie-wanted-motherwell-stephen-21579097 Rickie Lamie wanted by Motherwell as Stephen Robinson eyes pre-contract transfer for Livingston star The Fir Park club want to reunite the centre-back with former Livi team-mate Declan Gallagher. By Scott Burns 09:32, 26 FEB 2020 Motherwell want to land Ricki Lamie from Livingston . The Steelmen are looking to do a deal to sign the defender who is out of contract in the summer. Well boss Stephen Robinson took Declan Gallagher from Livi last season and now wants to team him up with Lamie. There is also interest from England in the centre-back but Motherwell look to have stolen a march. The Fir Park outfit are looking to get a pre-contract done that will see Lamie move for nothing in the summer. Gallagher has already made the move west Livingston had wanted to open talks with the 26-year-old over a new deal but he had indicated he wanted to keep his options open. Since then he has fallen down the pecking order at Livi. The Staggies were willing to pay a fee but Lamie turned down that move because he wasn’t keen on a move to the Highlands. A move to Fir Park would mean the former Morton defender is able remain in the central belt. The move could also have the potential of European football if third-placed Motherwell keep themselves up at the top end of the Premiership.
  13. https://mobile.twitter.com/Alan_Burrows/status/1229798308991979523 Alan Burrows @Alan_Burrows Looks like we’re going to get it on. Few heavy showers have come and gone through the afternoon as forecasted, but we’re still holding up. Hope you can join us for the big game... #COYW
  14. I see the club have announced on Twitter that the St Mirren league game has been rescheduled for next Tuesday night, so presumably they are confident tonight will go ahead.

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