McGhee: we'll deal with Les loss

Motherwell manager Mark McGhee doesn't feel that the imminent departure of owner Les Hutchison would adversely affect the club's budget for signing players.

Mark McGhee says he'll need to use a "forensic budget" in the transfer market (Pic by Alan Watson)

Bothwell born billionaire Barbados-based philanthropist Hutchison is negotiating the sale of his 76 per cent stake in the club to fans group The Well Society.

“We need to be creative in terms of how we deal with the loss of Les’s parachute effect,” McGhee said.

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“But we are confident we will do a good enough job in that respect for it not to affect us too badly.

“I hope to have a squad of 21 players in place by the end of this summer.”

Questioned on reports that his out of contract players had been offered reduced terms to stay at Fir Park, McGhee said that was “a private matter”.

“We have to make sure we cut the cloth correctly,” he added.

“We need to be forensic with the budget.”

Although McGhee was disappointed with ’Well’s fifth place finish last term, he said his target next season would simply be avoiding relegation from the Scottish Premiership.

“We are looking to stay up,” McGhee said.

“Anything better than that will be fantastic. Every provincial team will be saying that.

“We have to get every point we can and see where it takes us.”

And McGhee welcomed the return of Glasgow giants Rangers to the top flight next season after a four year-absence.

“Rangers are one of the biggest clubs in Britain,” the Fir Park gaffer added.

“With the size of the club, they deserve to be in the top division.”

McGhee admitted it was tough releasing David Clarkson, Jack Leitch, Wes Fletcher and under-20 goalie Brett Long this summer.

“It is not easy to tell someone that you are not renewing their contract,” McGhee said.

“That is incredibly difficult.

“But I have a good relationship with Clarky, Jack and his family.”