Football: Nevin takes on dual role

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PAT NEVIN, the former Scotland winger, entered uncharted territory last night after becoming the first footballer to combine playing with a senior role at management level.

He was appointed as Motherwell's new chief executive after the wrangle over his protracted departure from Kilmarnock was resolved. Nevin, 35 on Sunday, has also bought a five per cent stake in the Lanarkshire club, recently purchased by John Boyle, a close friend and businessman, for pounds 2.5m.

He will have overall responsibility for "footballing strategy" and the commercial and business operations of the club, although Harri Kampman, the manager, will remain in charge of team affairs and tactics.

Nevin, who has signed a two-year playing contract, will not officially be on the board, although he and Boyle indicated they would approach the Scottish Football Association at a later date about relaxing a rule stopping players enjoying such status.

However, he will have a role in re-negotiating player contracts and helping persuade possible transfer targets to come to Fir Park. "The manager will decide who he actually wants, and if the board agree, I may well be the one who goes to speak to that player," Nevin said. "But Harri will be the one organising the team and tactics."

Nevin insisted he would adopting a "softly, softly" approach. "I am not going to be coming in saying we should be doing this or doing that - I know my limitations," he said. "But it is important that when John [Boyle] can't be here, he has someone hands-on who he knows and trusts and shares his business concepts."