Dundee fans deserve better
Calum Melville talked a good game when he first cruised up to Dens Park in his Bentley.
The Aberdeen-supporting multi-millionaire talked the talk, but now he seems unwilling, or unable, to walk the walk.
Melville, who once phoned me to complain that he was worth £130m and not the mere £90m that I had reported, needs to provide just 0.35% of that fortune to meet the demands of the tax man, who some think is threatening the club with administration.
Do the sums. The First Division club owes HMRC £365,000.
If you or I had ten grand in the bank, it would be like shelling out £350.
Not too much to ask surely after his brash promises about a three-to-five-year plan to restore Dundee's fortunes.
Melville answered a newspaper advertisement for an investor from the Dens Park board.
No one twisted his arm to join up, and for a long time he's enjoyed the kind of positive publicity that a PR firm would have charged him an arm and a leg for.
The players on the park may not have delivered, but now the major investor looks like he may not be keen to deliver either, and long before the game has ended.
These are worry times at Dens Park
How firmly did they nail down their benefactor's financial promises?
He has spent around £1.3m pounds signing big names and paying big wages.
But did they do enough to ensure that the money was actually deposited in the bank or that written guarantees were in place to ensure that promises made could or would be kept.
Now Mr Melville is asking the Dundee fans to dip into their pockets again.
Perhaps the Dundee-minded business community members could do more and it may be that Melville thinks that they, or other prominent people involved at the club, have been resting on their laurels leaving him to do it all.
But, the ordinary Joe's who have already saved their club once and performed heroics to do so, can surely be excuse from further calls to duty.
Seven years ago, when the club went into administration, those ordinary punters who love The Dee with a passion, went above and beyond what could be expected.
People like me helped where they could.
I was compere for a huge fund raiser at the Caird Hall and being good naturedly (I think), booed on and off the stage, for my United leanings.
I was also filmed in the altogether in my bath for a fund raising comedy DVD, with only soapy bubbles to protect my modesty.
But it was all in the cause of saving a great old football institution, and meagre efforts like mine paled into insignificance alongside the many men and women from Dee4Life, who risked financial and marital calamity as they worked day and night to save their club, rattling buckets and selling raffles.
They deserve much, much better than this.
So what are the options?
A group of local business people reckon they can pledge £100,000, along with Melville's pledge to put up the same sum, could see them come to deal with the tax authorities to accept that now and then pay the outstanding amount later.
That would stop HMRC moving to petition the court to appoint a liquidator, a move which could see the club killed off and losing its registration in the SFL.
As I understand it, the main creditors, Bob Brannan, Calum Melville, and John Bennett are owed more than 75% of the club's debt and can stop HMRC from putting the club into administration or liquidating them.
In fact there is no suggestion that HMRC have actually threatened to put the club out of business, and despite tales that they are getting tougher with recalcitrant clubs, what would be the sense in putting 40 or 50 people out of a job to receive ten pence, or such like, in the pound.
The directors could of course take the view that administration would allow a fresh start, with the club getting rid of high earners, ending a reliance on Melville's millions, living within its' means and taking whatever sanctions the SFL chooses to hand out.
I broke the story seven years ago when the Dundee went into administration.
The plight of the club now does not appear to be anything like as bad as it was then.
The directors, well-intentioned business people and those with a deep affection for Dundee, now need to put any animosity and personal differences aside to ensure every sinew is strained to keep the club going.
Oh and a wee win on Saturday, followed by few more in the coming weeks, wouldn't go amiss either.