This is an excerpt from this week's Claret and Amber Alert, a free Motherwell newsletter written by Graeme McGarry that goes out every Thursday at 6pm. To sign up, click here.

I don’t know about you, but I’m suffering from a little bout of investment fatigue.

Apart from the eye-popping release of a tranche of Erik Barmack’s Whatsapp messages on Pie & Bovril and a self-proclaimed ‘lengthy statement’ released by the club board, there has been little new to chew over since I laid out my position on the matter in last week’s newsletter.

Certainly nothing, in any case, that has persuaded me that it is worth the ‘Well Society relinquishing their majority shareholding in the club.

So, with that in mind, I thought it might be a nice wee change of pace to discuss the actual football team, and address the make-up of the squad after a raft of signings arrived at the club over the past week or so. For a club that some folk would have you believe are on their uppers, Motherwell aren’t half snapping up players.

READ MORE: Back to drawing board for Barmacks if they want 'Well deal

As well as the confirmation of Andy Halliday becoming a Motherwell player after his loan spell in the second half of last season, Kofi Balmer, Johnny Koutroumbis, Tom Sparrow, Ross Callachan and Zach Robinson have all checked in at Fir Park, while (in my best Chick Young voice, I can exclusively reveal) the signing of Serbian forward Filip Stuparevic will be confirmed just shortly too. News of a new deal for Callum Slattery was also welcome.

A goalkeeper obviously remains a must, and the left-hand side is still looking a little sparse, particularly if Stuart Kettlewell is sticking with his system that places such importance on the role of the wing backs. But it seems like a more than decent start to the summer transfer window business.

Kettlewell will be happy to have so many players in place before the squad head to The Netherlands to ramp up their pre-season preparations, and he will be satisfied to finally have – arguably for the first time since he took over at Fir Park – a squad that he can call his own.

The flip side of that is though, of course, that this is arguably the first time since he arrived at Fir Park that he has a squad he can call his own. Because he will now be judged accordingly.

Even in the dark days of that long, winless run last season, there was a measure of understanding that the manager was operating with one hand tied behind his back. The legacy issues of the club having to throw a fair bit of the brown stuff at the wall every January under the previous couple of managers in order to avoid relegation meant that there was a good amount of deadwood hanging around the place.

That hamstrung Kettlewell’s attempts at putting his own stamp on his squad to some extent, having to get players out of the door before he could look to bring his own choices in. Gradually, over the past few windows, the squad has started to be formed more in his own image, and it is now – unquestionably – his team.

READ MORE: Kelly signs short-term extension to help Motherwell earn Euro 24 cash

The players he has recruited have been brought to the club so that Motherwell play the way he wants them to. So, it is rather exciting to see how the new arrivals complement those who he has chosen to keep around the place from before, but there will also be no hiding place if things don’t go so well.

Theo Bair was undoubtedly the success story of last season, and was a tremendous signing, but there was also the likes of Oli Shaw and Connor Wilkinson, let’s not forget.

On the face of it though, this early business hints that the components of the club are operating well in tandem with one another in terms of the manager, head of recruitment Nick Daws and CEO Brian Caldwell. Having these three singing from the same hymnsheet is crucial to the club’s chances of success.

Different parts of the club working in harmony, pulling in the same direction? It will never catch on.


With all the investment chat last week, I didn’t have the space to note Liam Kelly’s wonderful gesture of signing a short-term contract with Motherwell, so that the club benefits from the cash dished out for his participation in Scotland’s squad for the Euros.

The keeper has often been the subject of these newsletters, and took a bit of criticism at points last season, but you could never call his character, or how much he cares for Motherwell, into question.

He didn’t have to do what he did, but it says a lot about him. He will leave Fir Park with the thanks and best wishes of the vast majority of Motherwell fans in any case, but even more so now.