Graham Alexander leaves Motherwell following European defeat to Sligo Rovers

Rovers confirm that second leg of third-round tie against Viking Stavanger will be played at The Showgrounds

Graham Alexander has left Motherwell in the wake of their European defeat by Sligo Rovers.

Well suffered a 2-0 defeat at The Showgrounds on Thursday following their 1-0 home loss at Fir Park in the Europa Conference League second qualifying round.

A club statement read: “We have today parted company with manager Graham Alexander by mutual consent.”

Alexander’s assistant, Chris Lucketti, has also departed. Academy director Steven Hammell will take interim charge ahead of Sunday’s Scottish Premiership opener away to St Mirren. He will be assisted by former Motherwell team-mate Brian Kerr, who is the club’s under-18s coach.


Chairman Jim McMahon said on the club’s website: “Graham asked to speak with us early on Friday morning, and everyone agreed that it would be best to make a change.

“We asked Graham to reverse our fortunes when he arrived 18 months ago and he did that, before a really solid start to his first full season at Fir Park laid the foundations for what ultimately led to a fifth-place finish and European football.

“However, things haven’t gone as well for a spell in 2022 and, although the timing is not ideal, we hope a change will bring about fresh impetus for everyone ahead of the 2022-23 season.

“I would like to place on record our sincere thanks to Graham and Chris for all their hard work and effort and wish them every success in their future careers.”

Thursday’s poor performance cost Motherwell a third-round tie with Viking Stavanger and Alexander had lost the backing of the vast majority of fans, many of whom have criticised his style, tactics and team selections in recent months.

Alexander said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Motherwell and leave with nothing but good wishes for the club in the future.

“I’m proud that we came in with the club joint bottom of the Premiership, and 18 months later leave having first secured our Premiership status, then qualified for Europe in our first full season. Our points tally in that time is only behind Rangers and Celtic.

“I also want to thank everyone who has worked so hard alongside us, and for the support I have received from Alan Burrows, Jim McMahon and the board of directors. It has been a pleasure to represent Motherwell Football Club.”

Sligo Rovers confirmed on Friday that the second leg of the third round tie against Viking will take place at The Showgrounds despite speculation that the ground would not pass Uefa’s rules for ties from the third round onwards.

The second leg will take place on Thursday, August 11th with a 7pm kick-off, with sales to season-ticket holders starting on Saturday, full price tickets costing €25.

“The club have worked tirelessly since the final whistle last night to secure the game here in front of our home supporters and it has now been confirmed by Uefa,” read a statement on The Bit O’Red website.

“There was a possibility of having to stage the game at Tallaght Stadium in Dublin but this now means European football will once again be back here in Sligo.

“We wish to thank Uefa for their help and especially our association, The FAI.

“There are a number of extra measures needed to help bring the ground up to speed but there will be no temporary stand and capacity will remain around the same as our game with Motherwell on Thursday night.

“The club will now work on putting all these measures in place ahead of the game.”