Celebrate our past, ensure our future
Frequently Asked Questions
The Dundee United Supporters’ Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation established as a company limited by guarantee. Its members have a shared and passionate vision for the future which is based on bringing ownership of Dundee United FC closer to the fans.
The current priority is to gain the trust and respect of Dundee United fans to encourage them to make a regular contribution to the Foundation. This will enable the Foundation to become established and to be in a position in the future to help the cash flow of the club and assist with operating costs.
The Steering Group is made up of passionate Dundee United fans who feel that something needs to be done to give all supporters an additional avenue to financially assist the club. In return we can have a real say in the future while helping to ensure the financial security of our football team.
Instead of sitting in the stands worrying about the future of the club and the ongoing financial losses that are unsustainable we felt we needed to do something about it. The future security of the club is what is in it for us. We aren’t the types to seek public attention or a high media profile.
You will be part of an important fans’ group with a direct line into the Boardroom. All members of the Foundation will have a chance to be elected to the Foundation board and serve for three years. With the financial clout of the Foundation this will give Dundee United fans who are members a very serious, responsible and meaningful influence in the running of the club.
No, this is not a pressure or a campaign group. A successful and well supported Foundation will provide an enduring long term financial input into our football club. It is hoped it will encourage private investors into the club and members will have the final say by the one member one vote system on where the Foundation money goes. The ultimate aim of the Foundation is to deliver active fan involvement in the ownership of the club in a professional and measured way in partnership with external investors.
The financial income of the Foundation is based on regular monthly contributions from its members. A start up fund has been set up for fans who wish to make a commitment as a founder member.
There are initial start up costs in company registration, legal costs, logo design, web site design etc. The commitment ‘start up’ fund will be used for that. It will also demonstrate the credibility of the Foundation to all United fans if we have a core number of fans already on board before we open up the membership to the wider fan base.
We believe 1500 members is achievable in the first year and this could generate upwards of £200,000 per annum.
A £200,000 contribution from the Foundation is approximately the equivalent of a 15-20% increase in season ticket sales, or the club’s share of a significant transfer fee every year. Most football clubs in Scotland would welcome this annual guaranteed income. One of the initial aims of the Foundation is to create a solid base of supporters and grow that by gaining the trust, respect and credibility of existing members to attract new members.
No. The Foundation is no quick fix, it will be there to ensure the enduring and long term future of our football club. Stephen Thompson has already stated on several occasions that he is looking for a buyer to take over the club and that he will not be there for the long term. The Foundation Steering Group would work alongside any new investor, or group of investors, to ensure that their, and our forward vision for the club was aligned before we would recommend any of the Foundation money being paid into the club. Any decision would need to be ratified by a majority of the Foundation members in a one member one vote ballot.
Other than attendance at the AGM the acquisition of shares in itself would not give Foundation members any real influence over operational matters of the club. We think presence at decision making level in the boardroom is very important, however, in the medium/longer term the transfer of shares to the Foundation as part of gaining a controlling interest in the club would be given serious consideration.
SO YOU ARE ASKING FANS THAT ALREADY SPEND A LARGE AMOUNT ON SEASON TICKETS TO GIVE EVEN MORE MONEY TO THE FOOTBALL CLUB?
We realise not all fans will be able to make a contribution but we think that many will welcome the opportunity to help ensure the future of their football team by being part of an exciting fans’ group. Members will have a real say in the running of their club. All for less than the price of a coffee per week.
The obvious incentive is that your contribution will be directly ensuring the future success of the football club. However we would like to develop this following consultation with United fans, supporter’s organisations, and looking at what other groups such as Hearts have done, (e.g. certificates of recognition, badges, merchandise etc).
Primarily via a direct debit system provided by an independent service provider. Monthly payments continue for as long as you wish to remain a member. Your data and your money are completely safe and secure. The funds will be held in a dedicated business account and are ring fenced. Payments will also be subject to a Direct Debit Guarantee offering you complete peace of mind.
IF THE CLUB WAS TO BE THREATENED WITH ADMINISTRATION UNDER THE CURRENT OWNERSHIP WOULD THE FOUNDATION BAIL OUT THE CLUB?
No. The funds available in the early stages would not be sufficient to ‘save the club’. It would only avoid the inevitable for a few months at best. In that scenario the Foundation cash and income potential would be better used to entice a new owner into the club and to provide reliable cash generation for post administration recovery.
Fan ownership is not the be all and end all. We are more interested in having a well run, well organised, financially sound football club with an active fan involvement in the decision making process. That would mean having at least two of the Foundation Board (as elected by the members) as full Directors of the main Dundee United FC Board. In the long term there could be fan ownership through the Foundation if the necessary skills, experience and attributes for running a successful football club and business resided on the Foundation Board. Major decisions like this would always need to go out to the members for approval through a ballot.
Yes, there are a number of well established supporters organisations – The Federation of Supporters Clubs, the United Business Club, Arabtrust, United Ladies of Tannadice, Fans United. These groups are all important in their own right and we would want to see them continue to thrive. We would encourage all of these groups to work with the Foundation and indeed to influence it and hold it to account. Ultimately we all want the same thing, a sustainable, successful football club, on and off the park and we believe the Foundation can be a catalyst to achieving that.