Sunday, 14 August 2016

Motherwell FC - Fir Park

29th July 2000

Motherwell 0-2 Dundee

One has to speculate to accumulate, or so the saying goes.  This match, on the opening league day of season 2000/01 found Dundee FC in one of their frequent speculating spells, or to give it it’s proper name, Spending Money You Do Not Have.  

Such profligate attempts to propel the club back to the upper echelons of Scottish Football have twice since 2000, taken the club into administration and to the brink of extinction.

For this particular folly an Italian Player/Manager Ivano Bonetti had been installed and given, if not quite an open chequebook, then certainly more money than seemed sensible.  This was the same Bonetti who had played for Grimsby in the mid 1990s, and had suffered a fractured cheekbone, a result of being hit by a plate of chicken-wings thrown at him by his club manager Brian Laws – No, I am not making this up!   

A clutch of foreigners pitched up on Tayside during the Summer of 2000 of which Juan Sara, Fabian Caballero and Javier Artero could arguably be said to have given value for money.  But for each success there was a Patrizio Billio, a Marco Morrocco or a Marco De Marchi – duds who took the money and run.

Motherwell  FC's Fir Park from Edward Street

Same view in 2016

The bizarre incomplete main stand at Fir Park - the club unable to extend the 
stand the full length of the pitch due to upheld protests from residents

Same view in 2016

Panorama of Fir Park, Motherwell.

Same view in 2016

All six of the above, plus Bonetti himself started this match against a decidedly parochial looking Motherwell side, whose new signings Greg Strong and Stuart Elliot did not have quite the same exotic ring to their names.  Things all began so well for Dundee’s foreign legion when BILLIO opened the scoring from 16 yards out after only 9 minutes of the new season had elapsed.  

This heralded a period of dominance from the visitors during which some of their football was delight to behold, particularly their flowing counter-attacks.  By the time the break arrived Dundee had somehow failed to add to their total, having rattled the Motherwell post or crossbar on no fewer than four occasions.

Motherwell managed to tighten things up a bit in the second-half and, when the Dundee player/manager contrived to get himself ordered off after picking up a second yellow, Dundee’s ascendancy waned.  Even with the man advantage, Motherwell could not break through, and it was left to the visitors' ARTERO to apply the coup de grace two minutes from time.


Motherwell 1-2 St Johnstone
13th August 2016

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