WHEN pondering the gravity and extravagance of Scottish football, it is important not to be seduced by the glamour of it all. This very notion sprang to mind as Alan Burrows, the man who yesterday became Motherwell’s chief executive after two years as chief operating officer, spoke fondly of the other key man around Fir Park.

And we’re not talking about Christian, the renowned local turn and pensioner heartthrob.

“He’s relentless, to the point he hassles me on a daily basis for things. But that’s what you want,” says Burrows of Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson, the Northern Irishman who has now taken the Lanarkshire club to two finals in just one year in charge.

“For example, the gym at Motherwell has been the same at Fir Park for 15 years. It would be easy for him to come in and not bother about that, but he’s on at me to change it and improve it. He’s at me all the time, one of them was adding a lock to the toilet door in the gym. He was coming to me saying ‘that’s still not been done!’

“I know fixing the lock on the toilet door of the gym isn’t a big deal to be getting animated about… but he does! I like it because it shows that he cares.”

For all the security issues around the Motherwell trap door, Robinson has unlocked - apologies - the best out of a club that, to be blunt, was facing the prospect of three decades of top flight football being flushed down the pan.

Mark McGhee was sacked in February last year as a 5-1 home hammering from Dundee left Motherwell three points off the bottom of the table with just two wins from their previous 13 games. Robinson, who had only just been in the door for a matter of days as assistant, was temporarily and then permanently put in charge, going on to secure the club’s future on the penultimate game of the season.

It is with that context that you can only begin to appreciate the job he has done to now be on the brink of becoming only the fourth manager in Fir Park history to win a major trophy after John Hunter, George Stevenson and Tommy McLean.

“He’s almost the perfect Motherwell manager,” explains Burrows. “He runs the club just like managers of old. He manages the finances and the guys round about him as if it’s his money. He’s not tight, it’s just he’s very meticulous but he’s fair if they work hard. He’s an honest guy.

“Stephen really wants to immerse himself in everything at Motherwell Football Club. Whether the training ground, the stadium, the bus going to the game. He wants to make sure it’s right. He ran the Christmas party last year, he pushes it and gets involved and sees the bigger picture.

“Stephen ticked a huge amount of boxes and was the outstanding candidate both in terms about what we knew about him and what the job entailed going forward when we were recruiting a new manager. We knew what had to happen in terms of a revolution of the squad and not an evolution. It required someone to be very big, very brave and to be very bold in the decisions that had to be taken.

“Some had been there for generations and we had got to the point where we maybe had to hit the reset button. I knew that Stephen was absolutely prepared to do that and had plans in place to create the image he had for the club.

“To have a guy who will prepare the team as he does and get involved with everything is amazing for us.

“There are so many people who I would be delighted for if we went on to win the Scottish Cup, but probably none more so than him.”

There have been more highs than lows during the last 13 or so months for Robinson, with failing to scrape into the top six this year only a minor frustration. While Motherwell can pretty much rest easy from the threat of relegation as they sit in seventh place at the moment, it is in the cups where they have carved out a new hope for a support who now own and run the club through the Well Society. They have won 11 out of 12 of their games, the only defeat coming in the Betfred Cup final to Celtic.

Already attendances this season are up by around 25 per cent at Fir Park at around 700 home fans per game. It’s a trend going in the right direction, but one Burrows knows could rise even further if a trophy is brought back to Lanarkshire on May 19.

The Time For New Heroes campaign is proof of what Motherwell are trying to achieve. A video was released prior to their previous final in November speaking of what the club represents to the community and its supporters. No true Motherwell fan would have been left with a dry eye.

“I still watch it regularly because it sums us up. It’s about a team that embodies the spirit of the town,” explains Burrows, a life-long fan himself, of the video which can still be found on YouTube.

“People in this area don’t have loads of money but they work their backside off. They’ve faced adversity socially and economically, but the town has been noted for having a resilience. People have something inside them, and that’s what we are trying to do.

“Time For New Heroes was all about that spirit. We’ll do more of it in the run up to the Scottish Cup final. It’s about telling that story. It’s not just about players, but Time For New Heroes is all about supporters. One of the major staging posts in my life came in 1991. For loads of guys in their 30s and 40s it was the same.

“If you think of how much of a landmark that was in the life of a Motherwell supporter, it’s huge. When you are a fan owned club, they are all heroes. It’s them who run this club, it’s them who fund it. Your heroes aren’t just in the park. Players have to earn the right to play in front of them and bringing back a trophy next month could spark something special.”

In Saturday’s semi-final win over Aberdeen, the day was tinged with sadness due to the sudden passing of life-long fan Anne Bulloch, a lady who once gave a home to a future Motherwell captain as he started his career. It is this sense of community which continues to drive Motherwell and their new chief executive on.

“So when I found out she’d passed away it impacted a lot on me,” he said. “Someone said to me that they normally see me pacing up and down at Fir Park screaming for throw ins but at Hampden I wasn’t. It’s probably because of Anne.

“A couple of weeks ago I had put a before and after picture out of the refurbishment of the tunnel at Fir Park and she had put a reply to say that it was helping the club go back to its family roots. There’s not many things people say to me online that get me emotional but that was one of them.

“Firstly because how much she’s been involved with the club. She gave Stephen Craigan a home when he first came over from Northern Ireland. She also did the buttonholes for the cup finals, she was just a wonderful human being, and for someone like that to say to me meant a lot.”