Butcher takes Motherwell job

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The Independent Football

The former England defender Terry Butcher has taken over as Motherwell manager after Eric Black and the chief executive Pat Nevin resigned from the Scottish Premier League club.

Motherwell have been put up for sale by the chairman John Boyle, while Black looks set to join the new Coventry manager, Gary McAllister, at Highfield Road. Butcher has previously been in charge at Coventry and Sunderland.

Boyle announced his intention to find a buyer for the club while warning that the financial uncertainty caused by the collapse of the proposed SPL TV channel would mean cut-backs.

"The board of directors of Motherwell Football Club has decided to put the club up for sale," the statement read. "At a board meeting earlier today the directors also agreed to seek a court order placing the club in interim administration.

"It does not mean the end of Motherwell Football Club and the club is not in liquidation."

Boyle has been chairman at Fir Park since 1998 but became increasingly frustrated at the constant battle to balance the club's books on average attendances of less than 7,000. "We have watched with increasing despair as the financial situation deteriorated," he said, "and have tried everything in our power to turn it round but the club cannot continue to trade insolvently."

Boyle added: "I am particularly sorry that Pat Nevin and Eric Black will be leaving the club. Both men have done a wonderful job for the club.

"Dwindling gates, loss of sponsorship, reduced corporate support and the continuing uncertainty over TV income mean that, on its present cost base, the club is not financially viable. The issue of TV rights has been particularly difficult. The failure to agree a deal with Sky last year and the collapse of plans for SPL TV, which we supported, were bitterly disappointing."

The Scottish Premier League clubs, excluding the Old Firm, believe the decision to put Motherwell into administration highlights the difficulties faced by most clubs. A spokesman for the 10 said: "This demonstrates the need for the new league and its fairer voting structure."