Motherwell CEO Alan Burrows has lifted the lid on the big task he asks of boss Stephen Robinson to keep the club running.

Having sold the likes of Louis Moult, Cedric Kipre, James Scott and David Turnbull in big-money deals during Robinson's time in the dugout, the Fir Park chief admits Robinson faces an unenviable prospect of losing star men every year.

Burrows concedes they are "constantly making life as difficult as we can" for the gaffer and putting the pressure on to bring through the latest batch of talent to keep the Lanarkshire men up financially stable.

Alan Burrows and Stephen Robinson
Alan Burrows and Stephen Robinson

He told The Times : "In terms of 2020 we’ve sold close to £4 million in talent from our academy, in James Scott going to Hull City and David Turnbull to Celtic. So that is a real success.

“The difficulty is, while we might be selling our best players, at the same time we are also asking Stephen Robinson to put a competitive team on the park and win matches.

“We basically ask our manager to do everything: produce players, improve them, win football matches, sell the best players, and keep winning football matches.

“In any one window, Stephen knows he might lose one or two of his best players. So, because of the way the Motherwell model works, we are constantly making life as difficult as we can for our manager.”

Burrows admits losing academy stand-outs like Turnbull can be tough for the fan base but says it is key for the survival of the club.

Stephen Robinson says David Turnbull is a top talent

He continued: “No player will come to Motherwell for the money. But we sell them a vision: come here and have a platform from which you can go higher in your career. I have had this conversation with every player who has come here.

“What we need, every year or maybe 18 months, is a significant player-sale for good money which just keeps the cogs moving here at the club.

“It must be hard for fans to see David Turnbull play just 35 games for us, and then he’s off to a rival club, but they understand the way we work.

"I think they see that, in the absence of a rich benefactor who will just write out cheques, our income has to be supplemented by these player deals. I believe our fans appreciate how we do it.”

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