Dec 1 2010 By Andrew Weston
Ravenscraig Sports facility
THE chairman of North Lanarkshire Leisure (NLL) has reacted furiously to Motherwell Football Club manager Craig Brown's comments claiming the not-for-profit organisation were 'foolish' for not supporting the local club.
In an astonishing attack, Jim Logue has branded the 70-year-old's comments 'disgusting' and has even threatened to take the club to task over an alleged altercation between a Motherwell coach and a member of staff at Ravenscraig Sports Centre.
The war of words stemmed from Brown's belief that the club are being priced out of using the new £32 million state-of-the-art indoor sports complex.
He said: “It's (Ravenscraig) a very good facility but very expensive. We got quite a shock at the price of it, it’s a lot more expensive than Toryglen.
“I don’t want to say the exact amount but it’s a significant figure. We don’t get priority at Ravenscraig so we use Toryglen (in Glasgow) as it’s a lot less expensive.
“The point I was making is that it’s the same facility but they charge more. We’re right next door to Ravenscraig as well so it’s a bit incongruous.”
He continued: “It’s pretty bad that the local club aren’t being supported. They are being pretty foolish because they should allow the local team in as the place is empty half the time."
However today (Wednesday), Councillor Logue reacted with fury saying: "I am disgusted with the comments attributed to Craig Brown regarding Ravenscraig.
"Motherwell FC insisted they wished to use the facility yesterday without a booking and that they should take priority over anyone else.
"When told that we were unable to accommodate them as other clubs who had taken the sensible step of booking were using the pitches, a member of the Motherwell coaching staff became extremely abusive towards one of our reception staff.
"We are now investigating this in the context of our non-harassment policy and will make representations to the Motherwell chief executive in this regard in due course."
He continued: "North Lanarkshire Leisure is a not-for-profit organisation. All the money generated by us is put back into facilities and sports development in North Lanarkshire.
"The other clubs who use the facility all pay commercial rates and, while we understand that Motherwell is the local club to Ravenscraig, we see no reason why the club, as a commercial enterprise, should see themselves as exceptional.
"To suggest that the facilities at Ravenscraig are half-empty is simply untrue. A number of clubs, including Scottish Premier League clubs and other professional, junior, amateur and youth teams, use the facility on a daily basis."
Councillor Logue also said ongoing talks between the two parties about the use of Ravenscraig may now be terminated.
He added: "If the comments attributed to the Motherwell manager are accurate then it would seem pointless to continue with that dialogue. This would be an extremely unsatisfactory outcome but it seems we will be left with little choice."