Football Digest

BRIAN McClair is returning to Motherwell. The former Scotland and Manchester United midfielder last night agreed a three-year deal with the Fir Park club.

That left Aberdeen, Dundee United and Airdrie, who had all been chasing him, disappointed. It also meant that Fir Park manager Harri Kampman had pulled off his ninth close-season deal after handing out 17 free transfers at the end of the season.

McClair, who kicked off his senior career at Fir Park, said: ''I am happy to be going back to the club to finish my playing career with them.''

Kampman said: ''I am delighted that a player of Brian's calibre and experience is joining us. He, along with our other close-season signings, will be on hand on Monday when we begin training for the new season.''

Kampman has also fixed up left back Jerry Stirling, who was released by Partick Thistle because of their financial problems, and attacker Greg Miller - son of Alex Miller - from Hibs.

q MILLIONAIRE businessman Eddie Thomson was given a major boost in his bid to buy into Dundee United yesterday when he received the backing of the club's largest shareholder and supporters' pressure group, United for Change.

Thomson, owner of the Morning, Noon and Night chain of corner shops, is being supported by the family of the late chairman, George Fox.

The lifelong United supporter had his bid to buy some of the 12,000 unissued shares rejected by the Tannadice board last month.

But, with the Fox family now behind him, Thomson is confident he can finally buy into the struggling premier division outfit.

In another major development, the local businessman has officially teamed up with the the United for Change movement.

He said: ''I would be happy to make myself availabe to work with the existing directors in the best interests of Dundee United. It would be my firm intention to work with everyone for the ultimate good of our club.''

United chairman Jim McLean has so far rubbished the fans group's aims and has challenged them to come up with a big-money backer.

United defenders Steven Pressley and Mark Perry, who are out of contract, are set to leave Tannadice.

Pressley is expected to accept a big-money offer from a Spanish club while Perry should join Aberdeen next week.

q PREMIER League newcomers Dundee have been forced to drop plans to instal new seating in the south enclosure at Dens Park.

The company which would have supplied bucket seats were unable to guarantee meeting the deadline for work to be carried out. As a result, Dundee will be slashing the price of season tickets for the south enclosure by #30. Season tickets bought before next Tuesday will now cost #200 and #225 after that.

Chief executive Peter Marr says: ''Any supporter who has already paid for these season tickets will receive a refund.''

q AIRDRIE have decided that their first division derby clash with Hamilton will go ahead on Saturday, October 10, the same day Scotland have a home European Championship tie with Estonia. Hamilton wanted a switch.

q HAMILTON manager Sandy Clark, on holiday in Florida, yesterday signed left midfielder Darren Henderson from Ayr and 20-year-old midfielder John Murphy from Livingston Juniors.

Strikers David McFarlane and Gary Wales have accepted new deals to extend their contracts at the club.

Clark is now aiming for talks with both Hearts transfer-listed keeper Myles Hogarth and Celtic's Andy McCondichie , who has been given a one-year offer to remain at Parkhead. Both were on loan to Hamilton for a period last season and Clark now needs a keeper to replace Alan Ferguson, who has signed with St Johnstone.

q LIVINGSTON have joined the chase for freed Hearts player John Robertson.

The Almondvale club, under the ambitious new regime of Dominic Keane and Willie Haughey, want the 33-year-old striker to boost their promotion bid and are ready to hand him a player-coach role in their new-look set-up under manager Ray Stewart.