Motherwell Fc became one of the first fan-owned top flight clubs in history and since then they have continued to assert their status as a community club. Supporters can own their own piece of Motherwell for as little as £5 a month through the Well Society or contribute money to the club through one off donations.
Motherwell have offered refuge to residents of the former steel town for decades. Winning the Scottish Cup during the period of time where the town was suffering, the local steelworks were set to be demolished and town morale was at an all time low, the club gave people something to hope for.
In modern times the town is in a similar place only this time the town’s main challenge is recovering from Covid-19, financial struggles as well as a mental health crisis and the club has responded to help. Through club sponsors and the Motherwell Fc Community Trust the club has been able to provide services for the community to utilise to improve their mental health and help those that are struggling financially.
At Christmas the club made up food packages for vulnerable people in the community as well as provided vouchers that would pay for mobile phone top ups and pay for electricity, paid for the town’s Christmas lights to be put up and gathered volunteers to help clear pathways for vulnerable people in the community during snowy winters.
Fans of the club have repeatedly shown their support for the clubs community ventures. The ‘Well Bois over the years have overseen several food drives to help families in the area that may be struggling to get out to get food shopping or may be struggling to afford it. Motherwell was also one of the first clubs to recognise ‘holiday hunger’ within the community and teamed up with Radio Clyde’s ‘Cash for Kids’ and provide hot meals to children entitled to free school meals during school breaks.
Motherwell was also one of the first clubs in the UK to take action and try end the stigma surrounding mental health and actively encourage people to speak out and get help. All coaching staff are provided with mental health training that gives them the skills to help people that are struggling open up and feel listened to. They have also showcased the ‘Breathing Space’ message and details in the stadium and on players shirts since the early 2010s.
Mental health has been something the club has always held close to their hearts. When a supporter makes it known they have been in distress members of the club have personally reached out to offer help and a kind ear so that fans know that even when the going gets tough and when it feels like no one cares that the club cares.
It doesn’t stop there. Motherwell know their supporters feel excluded from the action due to the virus and have started their own behind the scenes documentary called ‘Inside Motherwell’. Originally airing every week during the pre-season the 15-25 minute long videos air once a month showing what the players’ routines are like off the park as well as what is happening with the renovation Fir Park is going under and overall club updates.
Motherwell know that without fans football and the club couldn’t function and with the announcement and the collapse of the Super League more clubs should take a leaf out of Motherwell’s book and prioritise the fans and their experiences. The club also knows that with the resources it has it is vital that they help the community in any way they can outside providing an escape from the world on match days, especially in the climate we live in now.
If you are interested in becoming involved in the community trust or the Well Society information can be found below and on the Motherwell Fc website, there are also documentaries published on Youtube discussing the club’s fan ownership and DVDs made by the club explaining what ’91 meant to the town if you want to know more.