From The Courier 9th April 2018
The Dundee United Supporters’ Foundation have told potential investors in the Tangerines that it will be good to talk.
The DUSF, speaking from a new-found position of strength having surpassed the 500 paying members mark, want to be at the heart of a new era of cooperation between United and their fans.
Tannadice chairman Mike Martin told the club’s annual meeting at the end of last month that discussions with parties interested in buying out majority shareholder Stephen Thompson were at an advanced stage.
There have been rumours of American involvement, with wealthy United supporter Alastair Borthwick, who has already made substantial cash available to the Tangerines, being mentioned as a possible candidate to lead a buyout.
The DUSF, who have seen a surge in membership over recent weeks, are keen to hold talks with any interested individual or consortium with a view to fulfilling their long-term goal of using the funds they have raised from members to help secure a brighter future for troubled United.
A DUSF spokesperson said: “As we go from strength to strength as a Foundation, we want to play a constructive part in United’s future.
“Some people may think United fans have been apathetic as regards the situation at the club but our growing membership tells us that is not the case.
“That means reassuring any interested party that we will be positive, constructive partners and will approach any buyout or investment with an open mind.
“Our door will be open and we will be keen to talk, on behalf of our 500-plus membership, to anyone who wants to take the club forward.”
A big welcome to Stephen Conway who becomes the 500th member of the DUSF
Here is Stephen (with the tammy) and son Craig, grandson Ciaran and great grandson Jamie.
Stephen has been been an Arab for 56 years and said, “I just think that the idea of a United Foundation could be the saviour of our once mighty club, keep the faith fellow Arabs good times will return. Arab4life whatever league.”
Thanks to Stephen and thanks to every one of the other 499 for your great support.
DUSF Joint statement along with Fans United and The Fed DUSC
Yesterday we sent a letter to Dundee United FC Chairman Stephen Thompson and Director Mike Martin signed by representatives of Dundee United Supporters Foundation, The Federation of Dundee United Supporters’ Clubs and Fans United.
The letter asks a number of questions around the financial situation at the club including the possibility of potential investors and the sale of Gussie Park. We have also asked questions on the operational arrangements at the club and the impact of another season in the Championship on these arrangements.
We asked the Club to consider these questions urgently and respond in writing within 14 days.
The news today that Mr Thompson has resigned as Chairman with immediate effect with Mr Martin replacing him makes our request for clarity even more relevant. Particularly as Mr Thompson now plans to dispose of the bulk of his current 54 per cent shareholding during the next few months and Mr Martin has been part of a Board that has delivered the unacceptable footballing and financial results of recent years.
Thanks once again to all of our new members since last Saturday. We are heading towards the 450 mark !!!
Dundee United Supporters’ Foundation Director Graham McLelland talks to Radio Tay about the worrying recent news where Dundee United Chairman Stephen Thompson has sold The GA Arena at Gussie Park to fellow Director Mike Martin for a reported £1 million. Listen to the audio clip from Radio Tay below.
February 26th Update
A very brief update mainly to bring you the excellent news that over the last 48 hours our membership numbers have swelled by more than 25%.
A very warm welcome to our new members, it is great to have your support and backing and the increase in numbers this weekend has greatly encouraged us. A big thank you too to all of our members who have helped to grow the Foundation by sharing the information with their friends and family.
Getting the message out about the Foundation to all United fans is vitally important and while we try to use social media as best we can, sometimes ‘word of mouth’ is more effective. So please help us to keep the momentum going by enlisting your Arab friends.
We can help by providing publicity material, and we are willing to attend any meetings or informal gatherings you may want to organise where we can talk about the Foundation face to face and answer questions anyone may have.
On the subject of spreading the word we will be doing a further leaflet drop outside the ground before Tuesday’s game v Queen of the South so if you can spare an hour before the game to help out please email us.
Foundation Funds Continue to Grow
Membership is currently sitting at 355 and cash at bank is £40,010
The only ongoing payment is a £96 monthly cost for maintenance and security of the website. Other costs are in administration such as postage and stationery, and rewards merchandise. We are trying to keep these costs to the absolute minimum.
All of your member subscription contributions are going directly into the Foundation bank account minus a 2% fee for GoCardless transactions and around 5% for PayPal.
Following a survey of our members the Dundee United Supporters’ Foundation has voted overwhelmingly (more than 80%) not to support the current board of Dundee United Football Club by means of any monetary donation or loans.
There is real concern amongst the DUSF members that any money donated to the club will disappear into the big black financial hole that currently exists. Therefore monies raised and held by the Foundation will not be allocated to the current Board and may be used when the crisis, which appears inevitable, hits the football club.
Today’s news regarding the potential sale of the club’s GA Arena academy facility, only adds to the financial uncertainty at the club. The sale of an asset, that’s development was partly funded by supporters’ donations, raises a number of questions we will look to formulate with the other fans’ groups in the coming days
A survey asking a few questions on the progress of the DUSF so far has been emailed to all members. So please take a few minutes to have your say. The survey will remain open until midnight on Wednesday 14th February.
The Federation of Dundee United Supporters Clubs, Fans United & Dundee United Supporters’ Foundation are pleased with the announcement by Dundee United Football Club that Mr Stephen Thompson is stepping down as Chairman .
We think this a sensible measure given the continued difficulties of the Club on and off the park.
We would also urge Mr Thompson to relinquish his majority shareholding of the Club as soon as possible and let Dundee United move forward and ‘ heal ‘ as a Club after a traumatic few years.
A possible candidate to take over the Chairman’s role would be Mike Martin, who to many Arabs has gone under the radar as Director on the board and has recently purchased a 33% shareholding of the Club. This, however would be of great concern to all groups given Mr Martin’s seven year involvement at the Club as a full Director and close ally of Mr Thompson with both men presiding of the Club both on and off the park over the past few years.
The thought of Mr Thompson continuing to be owner and major shareholder of the club along with Mr Martin as Chairman or continuing as Director of the Club is a major concern and we would question how much change this action would make.
However, we welcome the two new additions to the Board, Mr David Dorward and Mr Jimmy Fyffe and wish them every success in their new posts.
The Federation, Fans United & Dundee United Supporters’ Foundation urges all Arabs to get behind the team and hope that we can gain promotion this season.
The DUSF Steering group committee
Our historic first major trophy win came on December 12th 1979 with a 3-0 drubbing of Aberdeen in the League Cup Final Replay – Dundee United 3 (Pettigrew 2, Sturrock) Aberdeen 0
UNITED: McAlpine, Stark, Kopel, Fleming, Hegarty, Narey, Bannon, Sturrock, Pettigrew, Holt, Kirkwood Subs: Philip, Payne
Dens Park, Dundee, Referee Brian McGinlay (Balfron) Attendance 28,933
After a dull 0-0 draw on the Saturday the SFA for once saw sense and agreed to stage the replay at Dens Park. Under the floodlights this became a momentous night in our history as an inspired United trounced their New Firm rivals. 70 years after being founded as Dundee Hibernian, Dundee United, under manager Jim McLean had won their first major trophy .
We asked the two goal hero that day and Honorary Member of the DUSF Willie Pettigrew of his memories of that famous night 38 years ago……….
“The first game was one of the worst finals ever. I remember Jim McLean laid into me at full time for not tracking back after Stuart Kennedy, probably one of the first overlapping full backs. I argued with Jim “Do you want me to be an attacker or a defender!” I fell out with him which was not a wise thing to do, but thankfully he picked me for the replay. That game was the highlight of my career, my first winners medal. The reason I joined United was the quality of players they had and the team ethic, and what a team it was. Sturrock, Narey, Hegarty, Bannon, Payne, Kopel, Holt, Hamish, fantastic players, you could go through the whole team, all great characters. Even the less well known players played an important part. George Fleming for example did an important job and he was a great talker and motivator on the park. When Eamonn Bannon and I joined it seemed to complete the jigsaw It was a privilege to play with them all.
It was a terrible wet night at Dens and I remember my first goal. I actually missed the ball with my left foot but it stuck in the mud, landed at my right and I put it away. My second, a header, came from a great cross from Paul Sturrock and I stuck it past Bobby Clark. Paul was a great provider for me! Eamonn Bannon played a major role in that goal with a typical mazy run across the park. It was a great victory as Aberdeen were firing on all cylinders at that time. I remember Jim McLean talking to Directors Bill Littlejohn and Johnston Grant in the Boardroom after the match with them saying it was the best day of their lives as they never thought United would win a major trophy.
I didn’t celebrate too much after the game as my wife Audrey was pregnant with my son Craig and I wanted to get back to her, but I made up for it the following year when we retained the trophy and I have a picture of Craig in the League Cup! I still think of that when I see players drinking out the cup after they’ve won it!
The United fans were always great with me and I’m delighted to be involved with the Foundation and will do what I can to help. At Motherwell it was a slow start and it took a while to get going but it is thriving now, and I am sure the United Foundation will be the same. It is all about helping the club and I am sure it will get there.”