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Monday, 29 April, 2002, 14:57 GMT 15:57 UK
Motherwell axe 19 players
Roberto Martinez
TV football pundit Roberto Martinez is released
Motherwell have made 19 players redundant as a result of last week's plunge into interim administration.

Ten of those players would have become out of contract during the close season, but the remaining nine had at least a year left on their contracts.

The redundancies were announced by the club's administrator Bryan Jackson, who said the club had become "leaner, more cost-effective and more attractive to a new buyer".

But Tony Higgins, secretary of the Scottish Professional Footballers' Association, said the players were devastated by the news.

Karl Ready (left)
Karl Ready (left) is one of those out of work
"They're very angry, having gone from being players with contracts to now finding that they have no more income," Higgins told BBC Scotland.

Higgins will meet the players in question on Tuesday and will seek legal advice on what action can be taken on the players' behalf.

He stressed that he would also be contacting the football authorities.

"Our great concern is that if this is seen to be a way that clubs should operate, many would want to come down this path to write off their debts," he added.

"Football relies on players making commitments to contracts, so if they think contracts are worthless, will they enter them in the first place?"

Four players have been negotiating a drop in wages with the administrator so they could remain with the Scottish Premier League club.

Andy Dow
Andy Dow will have to find a new club
Captain Scott Leitch and forward Derek Adams have agreed to a cut, while striker Dirk Lehmann and defender Eric Deloumeaux are thinking over new deals.

The nine to be made redundant are goalkeeper Mark Brown, defenders Greg Strong, Karl Ready, Andy Dow and Brian Macdonald, midfielders Eddie Forrest, Roberto Martinez and Stephen Cosgrove, plus winger Kevin Twaddle.

Among the ten whose contracts were about to expire are established names like Yan Soloy, Stephen Nicholas, David Ferrere and Ange Oueifio.

Redundancy payments will be made to the players.

Motherwell had 51 players by the time owner John Boyle decided to look for new owners after losing his 11m investment in the club.

A number of non-playing staff have also been made redundant.

Motherwell have one final league game left this season, at home to Dundee on Sunday 12 May.

Players union boss Tony Higgins
"The players are obviously devastated at the news"
Motherwell's Roberto Martinez
"It's hard to come to terms with"
See also:

28 Apr 02 |  Motherwell
Jansen rejects Motherwell link
27 Apr 02 |  Motherwell
Motherwell strike threat
26 Apr 02 |  Motherwell
Five want to buy Motherwell
25 Apr 02 |  Scotland
Well players fear for the future
25 Apr 02 |  Dunfermline Athletic
Dunfermline plough ahead
24 Apr 02 |  Scot Prem
Old Firm blamed for Well plight
24 Apr 02 |  Motherwell
Black 'will be great'
24 Apr 02 |  Scotland
Motherwell in turmoil
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