Les Hutchison has completed his takeover of Motherwell - paving the way for the club to become fan-owned within five years.

John Boyle's majority shareholding has been transferred to the retired Lanarkshire-born businessman and engineer, who stepped in to back the Well Society fans group last year.

Hutchison is putting in an as-yet undetermined interest-free loan to the club, repayment of which will see his stake of more than 70 per cent transferred to the Well Society, which has provided its own loan of £190,000.

The Well Society, whose chairman Brian McCafferty is assuming the same position within the club, has committed itself to meeting any shortfall in the loan repayments.

Hutchison has spent the week being introduced to all the players and staff at Fir Park and a new detailed business plan was ratified on Friday afternoon at a meeting of the newly-reshaped board.

Mr Hutchison said: "I'm very pleased today that we have begun this new chapter of Motherwell Football Club's history.

"Hopefully we can change the agenda of the club. By my involvement it is now more of a philanthropic and community-based activity.

"The objective and the agreement that is in place with the fans is that in five years or less we make the improvements that are needed at the club, that we move it into the position of being financially self-funded and then migrate the ownership to the Well Society.

"I am extremely pleased with the Community Trust which operates from the club, who assist some 35,000 local people in all sorts of ways such as kids at school, teens into football, ladies football, basketball and walking football for people my age. Some great work I am keen to encourage and support.

"During the time I am not taking any money out of the club and none of the directors are taking any money."

Hutchison's loan helps the club stave off a financial crisis sparked by combined losses of about £1million in the last three seasons, as well as fending off the prospect of a takeover from an Argentinian consortium, who later held talks with St Mirren after failing in their Fir Park bid.

McCafferty added: "I would like to thank Les Hutchison for his generous loan and for providing his expertise and other resources to help transform the club's financial fortunes.

"We also owe John Boyle a huge debt of gratitude for facilitating the move towards fan ownership. He has selflessly put the club and fans before his own interests.

"And everyone who has contributed to the Well Society should feel very proud today - you have all played a significant role in keeping the club in the hands of the community.

"The Well Society now has a central role in the running of the club and a clear route to ownership and we encourage all Motherwell fans to help us achieve that goal.

"I'm honoured to be taking on my new role and look forward to a bright new future which engages supporters and the wider community."

Three new directors have been appointed by the new owner - Ian Reid, Peter Kellie and Leanne Thomas, who is Hutchison's daughter. They will join McCafferty, Derek Weir and Jim McMahon on the board.

Andrew Wilson, Stewart Robertson and John Swinburne are stepping down.