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Dundee penalty is misguided and disproportionate

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Jim Spence | 18:06 UK time, Tuesday, 2 November 2010

The Dundee fans are revolting.

You know what I mean...

The Dark Blues, who carry the biggest away support in the First Division, are contemplating a boycott of away games and it's understandable considering how they've been treated.

With Dundee fighting for their very existence, their fans have been royally shafted - once by their own board, and now by the SFL board.

It wasn't the fans who didn't pay the tax bill, but they're the ones who stand to lose their club.

Because make no mistake, Dundee FC are very close to going out of business, and it wasn't the fans that put them in that position.

Dundee have been hit with a 25-point deduction for going into administration for a second time in seven years

Dundee may not have any backing on their travels as fans consider a boycott

Sadly, the boycott will hit innocent First Division clubs with their own financial worries.

It wasn't these clubs who voted to hit Dundee with a swingeing 25-point penalty which almost certainly condemns them to relegation, but representatives of part-time clubs in the lower divisions.

A boycott will hit other clubs hard, very hard in some cases.

Raith Rovers, for instance, are due two visits from Dundee and stand to lose around £40,000 from the absence of an expected 4,000 visiting fans for the two games, if the boycott goes ahead.

That will be the cost to just one First Division club of a misguided and disproportionate punishment.

If clubs are to be hammered for relying on a benefactor as Dundee did, then a lot of clubs will be twitching nervously.

In Dundee's case such a benefactor who seemed to be the real deal let them down badly.

His reputation is in tatters but he doesn't face losing his club.

He never supported it in the first place.

Dundee fans are fighting for 117 years of history and great memories.

That may mean nothing to those who made the points-deduction decision, but they may be about to find out that they have provoked a sleeping giant.


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  • Comment number 1.

    What a load of nonsense! first of all let me just say that dundee are a shockingly run club and deserve to be punished for trying to buy their way out of the first division whilst lording it over other smaller but better run clubs who are trying to do things the right way and within a manageable budget.Dundee effectively tried ONCE AGAIN! to gamble their way to success and fell flat on their face, as all gamblers will tell you, you pay your money you take your chance! livingstons punishment was much harsher and they are now rebuilding in the right fashion, dundee never learn their lesson and only severe(not severe enough in my opinion) punishment will teach them!

  • Comment number 2.

    What a state Scottish football is in our biggest club being run by the banks, Celtic only keeping there Head above water by there rich Irish benefactor pouring his own money by the millions.

    We need to get the money situation under control and fast and if it takes a few teams going to the wall to finally panic the dinasaurs in the SFA to making some drastic decisions then so be it. I would rather it wasnt a big team with a good support like Dundee but something has to be done lessons have to be learned.

    A new structure is required and that means 2 top class leagues and no more thats all a small country like ours can cope with, and there has to be strict financial controls which everyone has to abide with including Rangers and Celtic and Hearts etc etc.

    Underneath that should be regional leagues and they should be part time and could include some of the best Junior teams as well. 32 teams is the absolute limit for teams in the professional league, we can get there by agreement or we can leave things as they are and teams will go to the wall naturally.

  • Comment number 3.

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  • Comment number 4.

    It has been patently clear from the outset that the vast array of media pundits as they're certainly not journalists!

    1, Could not distinguish between Administration (DFC/Livvy) and Insolvency (Gretna).

    2, Could not distinguish between Livvy failing to fulfil fixtures and inability to fund them and DFC being able to do this.

    3, Could not distinguish between Admin 1st time around, which carried no penalty, therefore there is no offence, neither can the SFL mind you.

    4, Could not comprehend HMRC is not a preferred creditor, neither can the SFL mind you.

    5, Could not comprehend that DFC would pay 50p+ in the £, which is a very high amount.

    6, Did not hammer and hammer home the breach of fiduciary duty by the now former Board to fans/players/staff. Their absolute failure to disclose the increasing financial burden, whilst employing a new Mgt team, which fuelled the financial fires all whilst denigrating the former Mgt team via an accusation of "non engagement" is surely worthy of some comment.

    7, If Rangers get caught in January 2011 with a massive Tax Bill and given they're all but technically insolvent will the same media cry for 25 points, given Rangers have spent money when this court action was in progress.

    DFC have very few friends in the media and even less given the last few weeks.


  • Comment number 5.

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  • Comment number 6.

    Livi were able to fulfil their fixtures, and their new board even offered to put up the asked-for £750k bond -- but the league would have none of it, and relegated them regardless. And I have seen no confirmation that Dundee will be capable of fulfilling their fixtures this season. In fact, the administrator has claimed that if insufficient money is raised between now and Christmas, the club may no longer be able to continue as a going concern. That being the case, it is not at all clear that Dundee would be able to offer its creditors anything approaching 50p in the pound (and even that is not a great deal for creditors who expected, and deserve, 100p in the pound).

    The status of 'preferred creditor' is a concept from financial law, and does not mean much to the average guy on the street. The fact of DFC not paying their taxes and yet continuing to fund the league's most expensive squad and backroom team makes people angry, however. The fact of deducting the money for one unnamed player's student loan and then failing to pass that money on to the SLC, so that the player, through no fault of his own, will have to start his repayments from scratch, likewise does nothing to endear the club to outsiders.

    As for Dundee's first transgression: it may not have constituted an offence in the SPL of seven years ago, but it would now. And regardless, such reckless profligacy goes against the spirit of sporting competition, and is unlikely to elicit any sympathy for DFC among supporters of other clubs -- clubs which, in the main, have lived within their means. It is naive to think that the fact of this having happened at Dens before would be conveniently swept under the carpet.

    If DFC has few friends, it is because it has behaved in a manner that disgusts and repels people. In my opinion, sympathy should be reserved for the people who have really been, in Jim's words, 'shafted', and those are the creditors who stand to lose out yet again, and the employees who have lost their jobs. It is not unbalanced to state that the football club deserves to be taken to task for the reckless abandon and disregard for legal and ethical conduct, not to mention sporting fair play, which its actions betray.

  • Comment number 7.

    davidJbrodie wrote:
    "Could not comprehend that DFC would pay 50p+ in the £, which is a very high amount."

    And if your employer strung you along for several months with a promise to pay, then said, "Heigh ho, I can only afford 50% of your outstanding wages..." would that be acceptable? If Dundee survive, here a scenario...

    "Dring dring."
    "Hello, Dens Electricity Services."
    "Hello, eh, it's Dundee FC here and the floodlights don't work. Can you fix them?"
    "Nah, you owe me £5,000 from the last time you went bust."
    "But we'll have to postpone tomorrow's game and we'll get into trouble."
    "Can you pay me cash up front?
    "Er no."
    "Click, whrrrrrr..."
    "Hello, hello, are you still there?"

  • Comment number 8.

    Since when have Dundee traveled with 2 thousand fans they barely had a thousand at EEP earlier this season? They aren't as big a force they think they are as Raith Rovers and Falkirk take way more fans to EEP than them.

    Dundee have dug their own grave and it's a bit rich of the Dee4life to have a pop at the SFL when they had a representative on the board who decided to say absolutely nothing to their fans about the ridiculous amount of money they were spending.

    I really do hope that they survive as I have a few mates who are Dee fans although they have a lot more tougher challenges ahead.

  • Comment number 9.

    Jim - The only salient point that you make is in your first sentence, the rest is frighteningly nonsensical.

    With a stake in the club and a member on the board, Dundee supporters were absolutely complicit in the courting of yet another "benefactor" instead of getting the structure of their club sorted and sound base built.

    No club should have it's business plan on the promises of "sugar daddy", it's imprudent and stupid, and tantamount to cheating in many supporters eyes, no matter how many Scottish clubs are similarly afflicted by such a dependency.

    If you think a 25 point deduction is unfair on the fans, what would you impose as a punishment on the club?

    A 10-15 point fine would be nothing but a slap on the wrist, would have ensured that they remained in division 1 and would therefore have been meaningless. A further financial penalty would have been nonsensical.

    It must be remembered that Dundee FC played fast and loose with people's livelihoods. Why should we care about these "fantastic" supporters, when their response to justice is to throw a temper tantrum and lash out hurt other clubs in the pocket in a needless act of revenge?

    Perhaps they have had the people that were behind BA's decision to strike over Christmas as their PR people? What a fantastic way to get the Scottish football supporting public onside!

    Livingston were relegated to the 3rd Division because they couldn't guarantee that they could complete there fixtures to the end of the season. Can Dundee, as it stands, promise the SFL that they can?

    If the answers no, then the punishment should be equivalent. Dundee got off lightly in my book, and the club and its supporters should receive their deduction humbly and apologetically, rather than "bullishly" (which seems to be a favoured adjective at the moment).

  • Comment number 10.

    Interesting article by Mr Spence and it is no coincidence that he is from the City of Discovery and spends most of his time talking up the Tangerine side of the city. But is he not forgetting Livingston Fc and their supporters who "suffered" as a result of being demoted straight to Division 3 following their own financial problems. As a football club fans and directors have to take responsibility in the way that their club is run , even if they deem that the "wool" was pulled over their eyes on the arrival (2nd time around) of a financial messiah. The writing was well and truly on the wall long before the "sugar daddy" stepped on board and immediately sacked the Manager etc. Creditors were ignored and that cannot be down to ONE person -but a multitude of staff involved in the pay out process. The club spent outwith its means and whilst many will argue -had an unfair advantage over its league competitors. That had to be taken into consideration and despite "fundraising" -can we be certain that Dundee FC will raise enough to pay their Creditors and current staff as well as those who have lost their livelihood through no fault of their own.

    We all have a bit of sympathy for clubs who struggle ONCE - but when it happens a second time- why should the authorities sit back and be lenient.

    Had Dundee been relegated to the 3rd Division would the 4000 plus travelling fans- which in itself is a "white lie" as they struggle to get that at a home game- travell to Albion Rovers and the likes NO...They want off because they feel hard done by.

    Waken up Spence - you will still have your stories to tell.

  • Comment number 11.

    I'm sorry I just can't agree.

    They want to boycott away games. At best childish. At worst (and I hope this happens) there will be a reactionary effort by other teams.

    "It wasn't the fans who didn't pay the tax bill"

    But they did sit and cover their ears and eyes when Melville was splashing the cash.

    "Because make no mistake, Dundee FC are very close to going out of business, and it wasn't the fans that put them in that position."

    Oh yeah whilst having over 1/4 of the club so they were absolutely powerless weren't they?

    "It wasn't these clubs who voted to hit Dundee with a swingeing 25-point penalty which almost certainly condemns them to relegation, but representatives of part-time clubs in the lower divisions."

    Oh no we should go easy on Dundee I mean they only broke the rules (the same rules they broke before so didn't learn any lessons) but we should let the poor dears off. What does it matter that it was PT clubs. Does that mean they can't be trusted Jim? That they aren't fit to decide the future of rule breakers?

    "If clubs are to be hammered for relying on a benefactor as Dundee did, then a lot of clubs will be twitching nervously."

    Oh stop Jim they aren't being hammered for relying on a benefactor they're being hammered for financial mismanagement.

    "Dundee fans are fighting for 117 years of history and great memories."

    So the other clubs you derided have history too some longer or the same time than Dundee yet you say they have no right to decide punishments. Airdrie - 132 years; Alloa Athletic - 132 years; Dumbarton - 138 years; Forfar - 125 years; Peterhead - 119 years; Stenhousmuir - 126 years; Albion Rovers - 128 years; Arbroath - 132 years; Berwick - 126 years; Clyde - 133 years; East Stirlin - 130 years; Elgin City - 117 years; Montrose - 131 years; Queen's Park - 143 years & Stranrear - 140 years

    Have these clubs not been around for as long as you'd like for them to pass judgement Jim. Or are they just not making the right decisions for you so you're calling them self-interested or will you actually accept Dundee broke the rules, the fans had a chance to stop it and they deserve no pity whatsoever.

  • Comment number 12.

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  • Comment number 13.

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  • Comment number 14.

    What would your punishment be Jim? A strong ticking off?

    They deserve to go down a division and got off lightly.

    'With Dundee fighting for their very existence, their fans have been royally shafted - once by their own board, and now by the SFL board.'

    Their fans were on the board Jim. Their representatives turned a blind eye and knew about the tax bill but used it as a 'credit card'. Public money Jim! Again. We pay tax towards public services Jim, since when did Dundee get to use it to subsidise the club?

    Twice in 7 years.

    Boycott? Vindictive towards other clubs as if it was all their fault and casting themselves as 'innocent victims'of the big bad SFL. Its comical. Trying to influence their punishment using fan spending power to punish others. There is another name for that kind of practice!

    Hope the fans of the other clubs respond in kind. Is that what THEY should do as well?

    Some of their fans going on about being the 'Citeh of the North'. Problems known about (but not disclosed!?) for nearly a year past and still spending up to the wire.

    What level of stupidity was involved here?

    How can you defend it?

    Maybe they could put up another advert for a sugar daddy in the Courier?

  • Comment number 15.

    Dundee believed they had someone who was willing to be their benefactor and help them get back to the top flight.It did not last long!Much to our detriment.But how many other clubs would be in the same boat as Dundee if their benefactor decided enough is enough and walked away or wanted the so called "soft loans" back. How much are Dundee United in debt to their owners.Same with Hearts,Kilmarnock,Dunfermline.Where would QOS, Morton and numerous other clubs be unless they had money put into their clubs.There are many clubs in Scotland who only survive with money from benefactors(usually fans) who want to achieve their dream of better times-Dundee and their fans were no different.
    Dundee are the best supported team in the first division and regularly get bigger crowds than some teams in the Premier League.Dundee take on average 500 fans to away games-often much more and without a shadow of doubt contribute substantially to the income of other teams in the league when we visit their grounds.
    25 points deduction is too harsh-15 points deduction would have been bad but at least it would have given Dundee a fighting chance of staying up-and at the same time give some meaning to the relegation battle in the first division. But that extra 10 points makes it so difficult to stay up-but make no mistake we will fight all the way .
    As for the SFL and fans of other clubs who have passed judgement on Dundee perhaps you should google the financial state of your own club and see how perilous your own clubs position is-especially if your benefactor decides to walk away......

  • Comment number 16.

    With the 25 point deduction the SFL have got the punishment spot on. This virtually guarantees Dundee's relegation, whereas the 10 point deduction that Dundee were saying they could handle would in all likelihood leave them sitting somewhere between 2nd and 8th at the end of the season, exactly where they would be without any points deduction. Where would the punishment have been in that?

    The administrator is trying to tell us that it will be harder to find investors if the club are bound for the 2nd division. Why should that be the case? If someone wants to provide money to help the club survive what difference does it make what division the team are in. No-one invests money in Scottish football expecting to make a return.

    I do have some sympathy for the fans but they enjoyed the good times watching players their club couldn't afford without asking the questions that needed to be asked. They were happy to stick their heads in the sand so now they have to suffer the consequences for that.

    Dundee should take their medicine, prepare for life in the 2nd division next season and move on. Even by living within their means they should easily have enough resources to bounce straight back in to the 1st division at the first attempt.

  • Comment number 17.

    This is the tip of a very large iceberg... The situation at Dens will seem like a party compared to the implosion that"s overdue in the higher English leagues and, to an extent the SPL. Rangers are technically bankrupt, Celtic bankrolled in a similar fashion to Dundee FC, Chelsea run on the whim of some Russian oligarch, Liverpool on the brink...shall I go on?. Dundee FC's have no ground or means to pay various creditors and their ONLY asset at the minute are the 4000 or so fans who turn up week in week out to watch the football. It's time for them to take stock, take control of the club, accept the points penalty or even relegation to division three, if that's what it takes, and run the club in a manner that will ensure their survival and eventually allow them to pursue promotion. They MUST focus on the long term and invest whatever resources they have on youth and development and the sooner every Scottish club follows suit the better.

  • Comment number 18.

    For all of the Dundee critics above, since you won't accept the figures given by Jim Spence re the potential loss of revenue to Raith Rovers should Dundee fans support a proposed travel boycott, I give you the statement issued by Bob Mullen the General Manager at Starks Park last season:

    "At our Pre-match meeting yesterday we discussed the match on 15th August. (2009) This was our first meeting since then.

    It was intimated by our stewarding company that the Dundee supporters were the best behaved since they have been involved with us.

    They are a credit to your club considering that this is also the biggest travelling support that they have ever dealt with.

    Just thought that I would let you know. A nice change from adverse comments.

    See you in October.

    Best Regards

    Bob Mullen
    General Manager/Club Secretary
    Raith Rovers FC, Starks Park, Kirkcaldy, KY1 1SA"

    Dundee took over 2000 fans to the above game. However, we were still outnumbered by the home support who turned out to give great backing to Rovers. It was a terrific match that finished 2-2.

    Please note also that Dundee played St.Johnstone at McDiarmid Park earlier in 2009 in a match that drew a crowd of 7,238 (a figure greater than either of Saints last 2 home games V Celtic). Dundee had nearly 4000 fans at the game. In fact Saints ultimately had to open all 4 stands at McDairmid to allow everyone in. Of course, you will all know that the record crowd for McDairmid was set in 1999 in a league match V Dundee (as was the record crowd at Muirton Park, Saints previous ground)
    Finally, for those of you who are historically-minded, the record all-time SC First Division crowd of 19,720 was set in January 1977 at a Hearts V Dundee when approx 8000 Dundee fans travelled.

    Recently, Dundee have taken 1000 fans to both Stirling and Falkirk. Both of these magnificent Scottish clubs showed sympathy to the plight of the Dark Blues by donating sums to the supporters organisations. Truly generous gestures that will not be forgotten. It is partly due to this that I personally will be travelling to Dundee's next away game in Dingwall and all possible future away league games this season, assuming of course that the club remains in existence.

    Yours in Sport

    Rab Cluvell

  • Comment number 19.

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  • Comment number 21.

    Hardly fair when compared to the situation at a certain English south coast club whom it is aledged owed HMRC approx 30 million and other creditors approx 100 million more. That club only got deducted 9 points and they would have been relegated anyway without the deduction. This club still have a lot of PL standard players on PL wages and have been quoted as saying they will need to borrow even more money.

  • Comment number 22.

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  • Comment number 23.

    The mods are mad.

    I guess that breaks the house rule 'anything we decide we don't agree with'.

    Wonder what the BBC Trust thinks? Think I'll ask.

  • Comment number 24.

    It's a strange strategy. Attempt to win sympathy for your clubs self harming fiscal policies by sabotaging the finances of your fellow members clubs disadvantaged by Dundee FC's policy of buying players they knew they couldn't afford, who are completely innocent of any wrong.

    It would be ironic if another club was to enter administration for it to be found later that that fate would have been avoided but for the boycott.

  • Comment number 25.

    Mr Cluvell - 4,000 of the crowd of 7,238? You're figures are sadly inaccurate in much the same way as BBC Scotland reported that Dundee had over 1500 fans at Falkirk on Saturday, when it was later confirmed on the same broadcast that this figure was under 900!

    Raith Rovers will not lose out on 4,000 supporters over the 2 games as Dundee have not taken a crowd of this level anywhere since the first game against St. Johnstone in the 2008/09 season. That match was played in September 2008 and both sides had started well. The later fixture was attended by approximately 1200 Dundee fans. Finally Rab, when Dundee do go with a whimper, feel free to pop along to North End or Downfield to support a team that can be run properly.....

  • Comment number 26.

    I think the comments from the other fans above are those echoed by the SFL. A first division away boycott would undoubtedly harm the revenues of other clubs teetering on the brink and the possible threat of administration/insolvency would shadow over at least three clubs. But this is purely the 'domino effect' which has been set in motion by the penalties imposed on Dundee FC. They clearly haven't thought this through - Boycott or DFC closure or relegation results in the same loss of revenue for these first division clubs and the inveitible consequences. No doubt it will all be Dundee's fault.
    PS - Jim Ballantyne lecturing clubs on fiscal prudence???????

  • Comment number 27.

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  • Comment number 28.

    While I do agree that 25 points does seem a bit harsh the attitude of the Dundee support shows why they were sucked in by Melville.

    Susie talks of the benefactor model. Have a look at the accounts of St Johnstone and you will see despite our low crowd we generate our own cash to pay for our own team, something that until the fans started to raise money to save the team seems to be an alien concept to the supporters of Dundee. The following quote from their own official forum shows they think they just belong in the SPL no matter what

    "This whole situation is caused by the way football is run in this country which allows tiny clubs to reach the SPL by being bank rolled by rich businessmen. These clubs have now taken the places in the SPL that should rightfully belong to better supported clubs like Dundee, Dunfermline and Falkirk. Situations like this will continue to happen as long as they allow poorly supported clubs to rise through the leagues on the shoulders of white knights."

    Its that arrogance that is turning many fair minded fans of other teams against the support of Dundee FC

    Rab Cluvell should also note that while the record crowd at McDiarmid came against Dundee, the majority of the fans in the ground were St Johnstone supporters as that was the day we finished 3rd in the SPL something that despite all the millions spent before the first period of admin Dundee could not achieve.

    This points deduction is also taking the focus away from fund raising which is starting to slip. Its now just over 4 weeks until the deadline set by the administrator for the fans to raise 251,000 and when I last looked the figure on the supporters trust web site was just over 91,000. Thats a lot of money to raise in one month when people are focusing on the points deduction.

  • Comment number 29.

    Perhaps my post was considered inflammatory or perhaps my opinion was so opposed to the party line that it didn't warrant inclusion. However I stand by my opinion. Dundee FC have been very lucky not to be kicked out of the league.

  • Comment number 30.

    Jim, and cant believe you have written this nonsense, you say it wasn't the fans who caused the problem! what about the fans on the board who as usual burried their heads in the sand when CM told them to? And your last line where you called them sleeping giants, my goodness Jim I have heard you scoff at the sleeping giant line many times. They deserve all they get, and it should have been more. They cant be allowed to live beyond their means anymore, they got away with it the last time and cant be allowed to happen again. They should get on with the 25 point deduction and consider themselves lucky thats all they got.

  • Comment number 31.

    The governing bodies need to rethink their strategies for punishing clubs who go into administration. Ultimately the current method of punishment harms the fans, players and staff of a club, not the people who run it and are responsible for maintaining a secure financial footing.

    Rather than dock Dundee (or any other club for that matter) 25 points, the Board of Directors should be removed from their positions and banned from any involvement in Scottish footbal for 3 years. Administrators can run the club until a more responsible BoD can be appointed to run the club in a more prudent manner.

  • Comment number 32.

    It's interesting how you seem to ignore the punishment dished out to Livingston and Gretna. If this penalty is "Misguided and disproportionate" then what was their punishments?
    Dundee are very lucky the SFL didn't hit them harder. 25 points is a much fairer punishment compared to what Livi and Gretna received and although it will be difficult, there are still more than enough points left available for them to come back from this penalty and not suffer relegation to the 2nd.
    The team needs the fans to cheer them on in this attempt to stay in the 1st division so this potential boycott seems very childish and will do them more harm than good in my opinion.

  • Comment number 33.

    I would hope that when the SFL1 clubs made their budgets for the season they did not take into account any away supports from any one team.

    What if Dundee had continued the way they were going under the sacked management team, they were heading for mid table season and the supporters would not have been travelling anyway. Look at the support they took to Raith in April or Inverness at the end of the season so the losses that were being projected in the blog are being exaggerated.

    What if Dundee were to be relegated again because of a poor team, its like there fans are saying you cannot do that because the other teams will go to the wall. When Dundee get their house in order and return to the SPL the SFL teams will still survive.

  • Comment number 34.

    Last time I heard, the Deezers themselves were the only ones likely to buy the club.

    So how will this make them less attractive to an investor, if the investor is infact their own support.

    Last week, we were hearing all they wanted was to survive. Well, DFC can still survive, if they play to their means. Part time, and in the Second Division.

  • Comment number 35.

    There will be no 'domino effect', because the contribution of Dundee fans to the coffers of other First Division clubs is nowhere near enough to effect such a situation. It's laughable to suggest that Dundee's away support 'props up' other clubs' finances. If that were the case, how did the First Division ever survive without DFC in it? The fact is that Dundee are not the big fish they think they are, and it is the ridiculous 'sleeping giant' attitude that got them into this mess in the first place. If Dundee fans could accept that they are an ordinary second-tier club, and that their rightful place is exactly where they are, they would not have closed their eyes and stuck their fingers in their ears while their club was run into the ground for a second time.

    It's time for DFC -- both the club and the fans -- to stop chasing the dream, and live within their means. If they are ever to return to the SPL, it will have to be on a sustainable basis, in the same way as clubs like St. Johnstone, Hamilton or ICT have managed it. The days of pretending they are a rightful 'SPL club' stuck in the First Division are over.

    But many of the comments from Dundee fans in this thread illustrate that they are struggling to come to terms with their culpability for their current predicament. Too many are seeking to blame the SFL, or point at other clubs and say, "They have debt, too." Many other clubs have debt, but they service that debt, and some, like Dundee's city rivals, even turn a small profit on top of that. Other clubs are not spending money they don't have. Other clubs have not used public money to fund their chasing pipe dreams of reclaiming long-past glories.

    And as has been pointed out, Dundee's fans were represented on the board, and own 26% of the club, so how they can claim they share no blame for the situation is beyond me.

    It's time for Dundee fans to wake up, stop blaming other people -- especially by lashing out at other clubs in their league who have tried to support them, such as Falkirk and Stirling Albion -- and take their wholly deserved punishment. Instead of threats and whining recriminations, they need to put their energies into saving and rebuilding their club so that it can survive and find its true level.

  • Comment number 36.

    If Falkirk gave £2 back per ticket bought by Dundee fans on Saturday, how come the cheque was for £1600 if they took 2000 through?

  • Comment number 37.

    Look lets be realistic about the whole situation. The fans, players and staff at Dundee are not to blame. We know we have a fight on our hand to stay in business let alone to avoid relegation. We need to register 20 points before we catch bottom team Morton at present who will no doubt pick up points in weeks to come. I myself as a Dundee fan can see we are doomed to relegation unless of some miracle. But I reserve the right to fight for my club to live on. If we the fans don't act then we will no longer exist. For the fans and myself this is not an option. I would simply rather give my money to my club than attend an away game. travelling costs, match day ticket, extras on match day it all adds up and for what? Because the SFL want to drive us out and use scaremongering tactics for all the other 29 SFL clubs who are in financial trouble.

    It is as simple as this. We are fighting for our survival. We can go and pay and watch our team home and away but we will more and likely go out of business. We don't want special treatment. We the fans as a collective have a right to see this through and safeguard our club. If you don't like that then that is your opinion and your entitled to it. But just remember this on a Saturday afternoon I am a football fan just like yourself. The fans are not to blame we are just expressing our love for our club just like you would.

    If you feel that we cheated then so be it stop writing on here and lodge an official complaint to the SHARKS at the SFL. I am no saying we should not be punished I am saying the punishment is unjust.

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  • Comment number 40.


    First off I think you are way off on this one by a country mile.

    Perhaps you can tell me why football has this incomprehensible inability to deal with the realities.

    Responsibility for Dundee’s plight lies firmly with the club and no one else.

    The SPL punishment is certainly harsh but appropriate and let’s be in no doubt that is a timely reminder to all the other clubs knocking on the administrator’s door.

    Boycotting away games might be justifiable if taken purely on a fan by fan basis with the aim of redirecting much needed money to their own club, but come on man, did the BBC really have to report that it was some sort of counter punishment of the other clubs for measures taken by the SPL?

    Blame game. Doomed to relegation. What relegation? The season isn’t over yet, so deal with that situation if and when it arises and deal with it within the context of league reconstruction.

    Will they or will they not be eligible to participate in play offs? It would be a just situation with Dundee FC’s destiny once again in their own hands, albeit with a little say from the other clubs involved.

    If they were to loose in these circumstances, would they then blame this on the SPL and other clubs?

    Anyway, they still have the March 31 hurdle to get over.

    We cannot blind ourselves that although circumstances may be slightly different for other clubs that they too face a similar Armageddon.

    Whilst I can’t counter the logic behind the argument of those who call for a cull of the so called smaller clubs, I have to say that following the natural de-selection route, whilst painful for the fans, cannot avoid the reality that many clubs will be the architects of their own destruction and deserving of their fate.

    Forcing clubs either out of existence or into oblivion merely lends itself to the sort of reaction we have seen here.

    I hope Dundee FC survive but your article is overly sentimental. Sentiment has no place in determining survival.

    That’s the reality.

  • Comment number 41.

    well Jim , it seems that the only people who think the points deduction is unfair are the Dundee fans. Why should they not be punished by dropping down a league ?

    The guilty people are the Dundee directors not the SFL or the other clubs. The actions of Dundee have compromised the sporting integrity of the league by buying players they could not afford. Even in the last window they tried to sign the lad from QoS but pulled out at the last minute only because HMRC were watching, not for any fiscal responsibility reasoning.

    DFC deserve all they get.

  • Comment number 42.

    Jim you wrote:

    'it's understandable considering how they've been treated.'

    Can you please explain why you think it is 'understandable' that a poorly managed club think it is okay to punish others for their own faults? Especially when as one poster above points out the fans of other clubs have been donating cash to them. What an arrogant, spiteful bunch they are: the new 'calimero's' of Scottish football.

    Maybe fans from other teams should stop these donations because the 'mighty' Dees are not happy.

    What would your opinion be if the OF clubs were publicly engaging in this type of financial embargo?

    Other clubs will survive economically because they don't budget on the basis of Dundee Jim.

    And Susie #15 yes other clubs rely on a benefactor well spotted but some are well managed (possibly the ones your fans would taunt because they were wee clubs and you 'were' the 'mighty' Dees!). In case you missed it after the last set of benefactors you had, you were placed in adminstration. Clearly, you Dees put more emphasis on foolish over prudent ambition. Again.

    And there is still Jocky Scott's Employment Tribunal to come? Superb.

    Perhaps Giovanni de Stephano will help?

    Its not the SFL that threaten your club, its your own fans.

    On the bright side, perhaps my old Dundee football programmes will be worth a lot more by x-mas!

  • Comment number 43.

    I forgot about the Jocky Scott tribunal, what stage is that at now ? Does this still go ahead while the club is in administration ? Have Tayside police been paid yet ? If not Dundee may not be in a position to play any more home games either .

  • Comment number 44.

    Jim, normally you present a nice blog with balanced arguements but this really is poor and come across as a rant.

    Dundee lived beyond their means for many years and have rightly been punished for it. Staff and local businesses haven't been paid. The Tax man should always be the one you pay first. Dundee have taken money from every tax paying citizen of the UK

    Sorry Dundee, but you got what you deserved.

  • Comment number 45.

    Come on, when are we going to get past all this dundee as the 'sleeping giant' mythology! It is precisely this kind of delusion that has led dfc into the mess it is in - the belief that if only they could gamble on buying a bit of success the pay-off will be huge crowds rolling up to dens like it was the 1950's and vast profits to be made from the merchandise flying off the shelves, six figure sponsorship etc etc. It became a business model based on delusion and hope rather than the more boring reality - dfc are a middling sized scottish club with a middling sized [and declining] support. The fact that dfc fans now seemed to have kidded themselves into thinking that other div 1 teams almost depend on their 'huge' away support is just the latest example of this nonsense - and you Spency are just going along with it. Where is the evidence for all this 'sleeping giant' stuff. Having the largest [by not that much] support in the Scottish first division does not a giant make! Put it another way - if dfc is a 'giant', or such a 'massive' club, what adjectives are left to describe the old firm? Never mind the likes of much bigger clubs like Hearts, Hibs, Aberdeen or DUFC. Wake up time.

  • Comment number 46.

    agree with all those who've said Dundee got what they deserved.
    A lesser points penalty would have been effectively no punishment at all as Dundee would have in all likelihood retained their current position as a Division 1 club.
    As for raith expecting 4,000 visiting fans, that is laughable.
    I was at both Raith v Dundee games last season. In August Dundee admittedly brought around 2,000 fans. This was a figure inflated by the fact it was Dundee's first visit to Kirkcaldy in a number of years allied by the anticipation created in the Dundee support by the the new (and ultimately unaffordable)signings Dundee had made in pre-season.
    At the April match the travelling support was no more than 100, albeit this was a midweek game.
    This season raith would realistically be expecting around the 1000 mark for the two matches combined given Dundee's position in mid-table with no chance of promotion. a 25 rather than a 10 point penalty does not impact the Raith finances by £40k or anything near that figure.

  • Comment number 47.

    The 25 point penalty is a disgrace, those who think it is a just punishment should consider the impact it will have on other clubs, especially those in the 2nd Division. If Dundee get relegated as a result of this penalty then next year becomes pretty pointless for most 2nd division fans. The other teams in the 2nd Div will have next to no chance of gaining automatic promotion. As an East Fife fan it leaves me pretty 'annoyed' that as well as punishing Dundee, the SFL are punishing 9 other teams through no fault of their own. Then again, we are just wee clubs so nobody really gives a ...... do they?

  • Comment number 48.

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  • Comment number 49.

    Great blog Jim, but then I didn't read past the first sentence. I and many others look forward to boycotting this inconsequential little club in perpetuity.

  • Comment number 50.

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  • Comment number 51.

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  • Comment number 52.

    @The BigBlue

    "Easily the best supported team in the div by a counrty mile" Really?

    Not according to

    You are the 2nd best supported club in Division 1 (not much in it but still)

    It is this kind of arrogance that has got your club into the postion it is in at the moment.

  • Comment number 53.

    The voice of the 'mighty' Dees! Trying to bully other clubs because of your own misadventure. I guess no one will give you any more donations now. Try and count the pennies you do get though. Here's a tip though for the problems with arithmetic: having a £1 in the bank does not mean you can go out and spend £20!

    'Desperado. Why don't you come to your senses'

    When might your last home game be cause I'd like to get the match programme as a souvenir?

  • Comment number 54.

    Bring it on guys as i'm happy not to attend any away game for the rest of the season and we'll see now happy your chairman is by April.
    What makes you think you'll be around that long?

    You might be out shopping every saturday afternoon from January 2011 onwards.

  • Comment number 55.

    Well, well, the second best supported team in Div One. Dfc fans actually had me beleiving their hype. What a difference actually doing a bit of research makes - good work CheshireSJF

  • Comment number 56.

    Any chance of giving a reply to the theme running through all the posts above Jim?

    Probably the laziest and most misinformed blog I've read on this site.

    Frankly really poor Jim. Try and do some research before jumping on the bandwagon next time.

  • Comment number 57.

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  • Comment number 58.

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  • Comment number 59.


    this blog is your typical lazy bbc football pundit journalism at its very best.

    Dundee FC have got the cheek to boycott away games yet they charge £19 for visiting fans at their disjointed mish mash of a stadium?? Their away support is dire anyway!

    Seriously, DFC need to accept their punishment and stop whining.

  • Comment number 60.

    Jim, i've had a good read of your blog and every post since.
    I agree with most you have it wrong - for the last few years since a certain Operations director was put in place it has been nothing but jobs for the boys from the local Dundee jobcentres (yes the actual JC+ staff)now 2 are on the board, if you combine their private sector business experience and financial acumen you could perhaps detail it on the back of a postage stamp. Follow on and you find the kitman, stewards, admin staff all former employees of the Jobcentre! How ironic they will be frequenting their old employer soon!

    I have many fans that are diehard dee's and tbh I used to enjoy the city rivalry. Dundee have not been the biggest club in Dundee for many years, and this fabrication of away support stretching to 2000+ is nonsense. According to most internet factual sources it seems closer to 700 up to 1500 for the big games. Falkirk are the best supported club in division 1.

    Dundee have no god given right to be playing their football in the top division, they have overspent someone else's money, not paid creditors, not paid emergency services and now not paid their own players.

    It was a tough decision to call by the SFL, espicially as only 13 weeks into the season so a big points deduction is fair. it was put in place not to be overturned but however not impossible!

    For Dee4Life representitives to have been on board for 4 seasons + keep quiet on the money situation in the hope they could make it to the "golden SPL" and then generate the money to pay it all off etc is mis-management and cheating the represented fans. Perhaps the current fans club director should have a long hard look at himself and give someone who is interested in the club and not the profile role which it offers to look important. Going on a leadign satellite channel and promting a boycott for fans - is this really a football man?

  • Comment number 61.

    Mr Vandemar.... Don't expect a reply from Jim on this on, after all he has got it all and he works for the bbc, they don't admit it when they are wrong about anything.
    Im just sick of Dundee fans moaning about this 25 point deduction, they have been let off lightly when you consider this is the second time in administration in 7yrs.

  • Comment number 62.

    Can I just put this straight. I am a Dundee supporter and have attened every home and away game in the last 10 years however I have taken the hard decision to stop going to away games. I am NOT boycotting and all the fans I've spoken to agree that boycotting is completely the wrong word.

    I realise that my club needs money to stay alive and I'm taking the personal decision to stop spending £40+ on away games every second saturday.

    I enjoy my away days and have worked all week for years just be be away to afford the pleasure of following my team on a Saturday however with this point deduction the fight is no longer on the pitch. So I'm making this sacrifice so that I can support my club where it's needed, financially.

    Dundee FC has a great history and traddition and just as most clubs do we have a core of diehard supporters who put our club before everything else in life. Unfortunately this has been exploited by greedy wealthy businessmen for many year. They've taken us on ride after ride and we've been niave to trust each and everyone one of them but in the end we are only football fans, riding the rollercoaster.

    It's been a laugh reading some of the comments online about our club. Fans and journalists really have no idea. DFC will never die.

  • Comment number 63.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 64.

    Jim, it seems like the Dundee board and Dee4life's statement is taking away from the real culprits here, and that is the mess of a board who have got Dundee into this position in the first place.

    The fans will always be shafted, whether the club is in good health or bad health. I doubt there is a single club in top-flight football in Scotland or England that treats it's fans in a fraction of as good as the fans treat the club. Considering how fickle football fans are, I doubt their views can be considered with any sort of credibility.

    I know two people, graduate Sport Science students, who are due wages that go into treble figures and that is merely scratching the surface as far as creditors are concerned. When you consider the way that Dundee FC are conducting themselves, slamming the gates shut should be no less than what they deserve.

    It goes without saying that the Dundee support don't deserve it whatsoever.

  • Comment number 65.

    Some stats on crowds: (all but Cbeath were confirmed by the home club)
    Away games 2010/11.
    Partick 700; Pars 1100; Blue Brazil 750; Stirling 1200;
    Fkirk 859 (adults were free and weren't counted).
    None of these teams have brought nearly as many to Dens, so despite our poor form its the largest concistent away support. We have had less than 200 away fans already this season and the then league leaders brought a mighty 600.
    Over 2000 travelled to Kirkcaldy at the beginning of the 2009/10 season.
    Raith will take more to EEP than DFC as its 10 mins away and the Pars to Fkirk as its close by and they seem to despise each other for some reason but over the season the total number of Dees travelling is significantly more than any other club. Geoff Brown said it added 100k to ST J's coffers when they were in Div 1.
    BUT the reason for not travelling is not to penalise anyone else, or to try and say how big we are (or aren't) its about the 25pt deduction making the matches meaningless. Thus the majority of fans it seems have decided that putting their "away day" cash into saving the club is more important than attending a meaningless away we have plenty of meaningless home matches now to attend. Its that simple.

  • Comment number 66.

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  • Comment number 67.

    Very poorly written article and there is no way Dundee take 2,000 fans with them. Poorly run club and deserve their punishment although it is unfortunate for their fans.

  • Comment number 68.

    The crowd for the recent Stirling Albion vs. Dundee game was given as 1,578, with between 700-800 of those being home fans, which means there were only somewhere between 800 and 900 Dundee fans there -- not 1200, as has been claimed by fans of DFC. If v9dfc's other quoted figures have been similarly augmented, then perhaps we can guess the real away attendances for those matches.

    Given that Stirling Albion's average attendance this season is somewhere around the 1200 mark, it is nonsense to suggest that there were less than four hundred home fans at that game.

    Crowd debates in themselves are not particularly fruitful, but in the context of this discussion, given Dundee fans' Old-Firm-esque claims of propping up the other clubs with their 'mighty' away support, it seems important at least to get those figures right. It should come as no surprise that the figures quoted are as exaggerated as the claim is spurious.

    But of course, fans (of other clubs, I presume) and journalists have no idea. The only people who talk any sense on this matter are the fans of DFC, who have been so effective during their close involvement with the running of their club in ensuring that it is run properly. And who are now aiming to make other clubs pay -- the clubs they were cheating in the first instance, no less -- for daring to put a stop to their shennanigans.

  • Comment number 69.

    As a Dundee fan I accept the punishment handed out. The SFL have been very clever in calculating the points deduction - trying to encourage Dundee to fulfil their remaining fixtures but still to be relegated at the end of the season.
    Dundee have two choices play their hearts out and then get relegated or don't give a hoot and then get relegated - not much of a choice!

  • Comment number 70.

    No 11 / Ross - A quick question

    Airdrie - 132 years

    Is that Airdieonians, Airdrie United or Clydebank.........???


  • Comment number 71.

    Has anyone said anything about the likely consequences if the fans of the other clubs decide to boycott Dundee in revenge?

    And here is a photo of the massive Dundee away support at (I think) Morton
    [Personal details removed by Moderator]
    (copyright acknowledged and credit duly given) [Personal details removed by Moderator]

  • Comment number 72.

    Is there anywhere i can get an explanation for why my post (#63) was removed for breaking house rules? I'm happy I stuck to the facts and wasn't going out of my way to wind anyone up, advertise anything or defame anyone.

  • Comment number 73.

    re #25 Thanks for commenting choptastic.

    I can only bring the facts to the discussion. Thereafter it is your privelege to treat the figures as you wish. However, I am going to claim some level of authority on this matter if only for the simple reason that I was at the games mentioned (except for the one at Muirton in 1952) and you were not.

    The main point of my comment was to provide some support for Jim Spence. I notice that no-one has disputed the words from Bob Mullen that I reproduced. Taking the away crowd figure from that Dundee V Raith game into account then we can see that Jim Spence was not unreasonable in calculating the financial effect of a well-supported boycott of the 2 games.

    Finally, thanks for the nod towards Dundee North End and Downfield for the future should things turn out badly for the Dee. I congratulate you on having a keen football mind. Together with Dundee I reckon these 2 clubs are probably the most successful in the city. Oh, of course, I forgot about United........... Lochee are having a great season as well, are they not?

    re #68.

    How can someone talk so emphatically about crowd figures in the first 2 paras of a comment then proceed to disown such discussion at the beginning of the 3rd para of the comment?

    I would point out that, unlike you, I was actually at Stirling 2 weeks ago. I couldn't get into the away stand and was directed to the terracing behind the goal. That means, unequivocally, that there was at least 1000 fans in the away end. This is the figure quoted in the Courier, the Evening Telegraph and the Scotsman.

    However, whether there was 10,000 or 1,000 it does not take away from the point that Jim Spence is making - if Dundee fans fully support a boycott of all their remaining away league games then this will have an adverse effect on the coffers of the clubs concerned. Raith is a possible worst-case scenario and as a sports journalist Jim Spence is only serving his public by pointing this out.

    The reasoning of the Dundee fans is straightforward. As the points penalty added to the player-signing embargo has effectively relegated Dundee then basically there is nothing left to play for. If there is nothing left to play for then why waste money following the club to watch games where the end-result is irrelevant and the club will not benefit financially from the attendance of any Dundee supporters. Ergo, donate the money that would have been spent travelling the country to watch Dundee directly to Dundee and thereby contribute toward saving the club.

    This is an interesting discussion which I reckon will linger around for a good while yet.

    All the Best

    Rab Cluvell

  • Comment number 74. you going to try and defend yourself here?

    Or have you decided to just take it on the chin and stop writing blogs when you're drunk?

  • Comment number 75.

    I'd dispute your comment about Dundee having the biggest away support in the SPL. Its no better than Falkirk, Dunfermline or Raith. I was at the game on Saturday and the stand holding away supporters holds 2200 so if Dundee had 2000 it would suggest the stand was almost full. The reality was that the stand had huge empty spaces. As for giving Dee for Life £2 per head (£1600 or £2 x 800 fans), I'd say most FFC fans were happy with this... until the pitch invasion and wrecking of the pitchside advertising boards by a large section of the Dundee support. In my opinion the money should have been kept back to pay for the damage caused

  • Comment number 76.

    First off, I'm a Dundee fan. From the above posts it's obvious that over 90% feel the punishment is just, that we have made our bed so we can lie in it, that the fans didn't moan when the club signed players etc etc. We had a fans rep, he should have said something, yes he should have but had to sign a confidentiality clause so couldn't.

    Are Dundee an example of not how to run a football club? Yes we probably are. But for all of you who are taking some shots, would you have turned down Callum Melvilles money if he had come to your club? I doubt it very much so please think about that.

    The argument about away fans is immaterial, Dundee fans are fighting to save their club, you would do the same thing. Will we survive? I really don't know, I hope we do but I just don't know. That is the heartbreaking part, supporting DFC is not just about supporting football. In many ways the football is secondary, it's about being apart of something bigger than myself, it's about ( and most importantly )it's about going to the game with my son. About having that thing in common that brings the generations together, about sharing common ground when things go good or most weeks if you are a DFC fan when things don't go so good. It's about, in most cases, the friendly banter with other fans.

    Dundee FC going under doesn't serve anyones purpose, it doesn't serve the local community, it doesn't serve the football league or football as a whole. What it will do is turn, people like myself and my son, away from football. I know that I won't watch football or follow another team again, I will be finished as a football fan.

    You may all have a go at Jims article, and while I do not in any shape or form agree with his Utd leanings, he is right. We all suffer if the Dees go under, football becomes less important for many people. Dundee fans are right not to go to away games but for most it's not about a boycott it's about putting every spare penny into the bucket to save our club, it's about knowing that if we go under we can hold our heads high and say we did all we could, maybe it's about forming a new club and starting again. Could I follow an FC Dundee I don't know.

    We deserve to be punished but if the punishment puts the club under then for me the punishment is unjust. I'll be at the game against partick on saturday, it may be one of my last, but you know what I'll support my team, I'll savour every second of the time I have with my son at the match and I'll hope against hope we have a future.

    But either way I pray it never happens to your club.

  • Comment number 77.

    SFL clubs are dependent on gate revenue. Losing £30,000 to £60,000 because Dundee fans will boycott away games may not seem much, but is does make a big difference to the clubs. If Dundee are relegated then the total loss in revenue is potentially over £100,000 for each 1st division club. That means players contracts will not be renewed, youth teams being disbanded, stadium unkeep being delayed, with investors and sponsors not keen to part with their money.

    It is wrong to punish a football club, which is a part of the community, because of the failings of directors. After the Gretna and Livi fiascos the SFL should have put in place checks on directors and a series of sanctions on directors if they fail to carry out their duties.

    Dundee going into administration has shown that the SFL have failed too. Hammering the club after the fact is simplistic, naive and totally counter productive.

  • Comment number 78.

    Hi Jim,

    I would have to disagree with your comments. Dundee have a good support, however i have rarley seen them take over 2000 to any stadium. I believe with all the talk of promotion to the SPL last season the Dundee fans came in great force to begin with, however with their title hopes slipping the crowds faded. For example last season at Starks Park, the Dundee Fans must of counted to less than 500, the defeat that night ended their chances of promotion. Another example is that in the Scottish Cup Quarter Final at Dens Park, the Raith support filled the entire stand, while the home terraces were atleast half full at best.
    Dundee are not the only team in the 1st Division with a good travelling support, Dunfermline Athletic, Raith Rovers and Partick Thistle, create a good away atmosphere, so with other clubs having good backing, i dont beleive that Dundee fans would be missed that badly should this boycott proceed.

  • Comment number 79.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 80.

    Jim, as you well know Dundee F. C. and their fans were lording it from the minute Melville came on board. Remember the "offer" for Scott Robertson because "...we know United need the money"?
    They had a perfectly workable plan in place courtesy of a lot of hard work by Dave McKinnon and others which might through time and patience have paid dividends but they simply couldn't accept living in the First Division for any time and, showing all their usual arrogance tried to buy their way back to their "rightful place" in the SPL. What did their fans' rep on the board say to discourage that? Nothing! Even though he had seen the mayhem caused by that same arrogance 7 years earlier.
    What should the SFL have done? The penalty of 25 points virtually ensures relegation and so it should. There have been lots of Dundee fans claiming to be "Dee till eh deh" recently. Well, relegation shouldn't be a problem then. Will they go out of busines altogether? No.But they will be a much smaller club in future. How many of the "Dee till eh deh brigade will follow them then? It will be interesting to see.

  • Comment number 81.

    Apropos boycotts by Dees fans - they will get us all ... exactly nowhere. Humans have a huge appetite for tit-for-tat and if the Dundee travelling support stops visiting other SFL1 grounds, it's likely there'll be few visitors to fill the away end coffer at Dens Park.

  • Comment number 82.

    This is turning into a great blog, so Jim perhaps maybe has served purpose here haha!

    # 73 Rab, the city debate has gone on for years between Utd & Dee fans, i think we all know Dundee were formed a fair bit earlier and had early football years success, United have been the big team in the city for the best part of 30 years. (this may change in another 30 years again who knows?)

    Sometimes you/we have to look at the bigger / biggest picture - this hopefully will be the final wake up call most teams need in an attempt to get their houses in order, scottish football has be on the decline in standard for years across all the divisions bar the bottom. Sponsorship,
    tv revenue and overall gate income has been battling a losing battle against the rising costs of expenditure of wages and running a football club for roughly 6/7 seasons perhaps more. Down the divisions more and more 16,17,18 year olds are getting the opportunity to play regular football which is slowly filtering up as clubs can no longer afford to buy decent foreign / english imports. If Dundee have to rebuild but on a youth basis with a few pro's and smaller fan base then so be it. Living within means should secure the long term future of your club.

    2 final points for now - when are bbc going to update the "division 1 table? " and secondly Dundee - there is not nothing to play for, now don't ask the directors to do the counting but you still have 75 POINTS to play for! Good Luck

  • Comment number 83.


    Ur very much mistaken about uniteds money being used to buy dens. Bennet funded that himself and he was taking giving it rent free to dundee for so many years. Also united giving him the money would be a violation of the league rules, so, unlikely!

    The dundee fans are as much to blame for this mess as the directors! Its obvilously been a case of hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil as long as the were challenging! They had a representitive on the board so this mess couldnt happen again. He's obviously fallen foul to the power and money!

  • Comment number 84.

    I believe this season away fans at Dens Park are now seated in a small area in the main stand. Indeed clubs like Dundee would save more money on policing and stewarding than they get back in gate receipts if away fans were banned all together.

    The problem is with the SFL and not that that businesses, like football clubs, go into administration. Administration is a perfectly legitimate process that allows that business and the remaining jobs to be saved. Any further action that threatens that process is not only unjust it is counter productive.

    The SFL should deal with directors who mismanage football clubs or who are unfit to be a director in the first place and not the clubs themselves. If the SFL, SPL and the SFA did that then there would be no Clydebanks, Aidrieonians, Motherwells, Gretnas, Livingstons and Dundees in the first place.

    It is clear to me that the current SFL board, the SPL and the SFA are not fit to govern Scottish football.

    Scottish football is crying out for reform that will bring back professional competence, inovation and good governance.

    How much faith do you have in the likes of George Peat, Stewart Regan, Ralph Topping, Neil Doncaster, Jim Ballantyne and David Longmuir?????

    Not much!

  • Comment number 85.

    It's a shame for the fans, of course but Dundee should die, it's part of a sport that's been corrupted from top to bottom, by the leniency of bankers afraid of the risks to thier image.

    Maybe it's time for a re--assessment. In a situation where hospital beds and schools are facing cut backs there should be no god given right for a football club to continue when it's not paying it's way in society. Going into administration and emerging without paying debts every few years is the behaviour of a cowboy builder.

    After not one but two episodes in administration within 7 years, only a fool would trade with them now on any other basis than cash up front. No sane banker should give them an overdraft. That makes operating a business very difficult. In a climate where money is tight why would you take the risk?

    Football clubs should get their houses on order or face the business risk of closure in the way that other companies do.

  • Comment number 86.

    A lot of replies here say "boycott does nothing", "who cares" etc.
    - we know you don't care, in fact its obvious a lot of people are taking some joy out of this predicament.
    - so be it.

    however, we are still going to boycott away games.

    BUT not to harm other 1st div clubs.
    ...but to put more money into the Dundee coffers so we can pay off the DFC debts.

    We are real supporters that are trying to keep our club from liquidation.

    If you are real supporters then ask your own teams touigh questions about their finances and concentrate on your own futures instead of wallowing in DFC's predicament.

  • Comment number 87.

    A lot of the above comments are un educated. We are not boycotting away games to harm other clubs but to put every penny we have into DFC. I'm sure other fans in the same predicament would do exactly the same. A bit sad to see other fans enjoying our demise. The shoe will be on the other foot one day the way things are going. You couldn't see a priest on a sugar mountain.

  • Comment number 88.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 89.

    # 57 BaldyHibby

    Thanks for the endorsement.

    This has been an interesting blog and, yes, it seems to pretty much in disagreement with Jim.

    I don’t want you to think I’m getting at you or any other contributors but in fairness to Jim we should remember that it is his job to stimulate the debate. From that perspective he’s done a good job and far more that some of his media colleagues.

    People aren’t all daft and anyone who reads these blogs can see they don’t like having the wool pulled over their eyes.

    But I wonder just how far the average fan is prepared to go in order to get the changes that everyone seems to want.

    Sadly in my experience not very far and those in charge know it. Consequently they are happy for people to rant on and on, as they see it, in forums like this. To be sure, the likes of Regan and Peat, won’t waste their time reading this.

    Tomorrow we are to receive the latest release from Henry McLeish and once again it’s on youth football. And once again we will all be hoping it’s not the same masterpiece in minutia from the anally retentive SFA planners.

    Why can’t football just do the simple things for once instead of dig it’s own grave?

    We all want to change football but seem powerless to do anything that has any real affect. Is it any wonder that the Dundee fans are taking whatever action they can? Given the choice I’d bet they would rather not be doing what they are doing.

    The SFL punishment was a warning not just to all clubs but to all fans.

    I think fans everywhere need to be a lot more active in holding their clubs to account, in particular what decisions are carried forward to a vote within their representative bodies.

    My fear is that I suspect they won’t – until it is too late.

  • Comment number 90.

    It is wrong to punish a football club, which is a part of the community, because of the failings of directors. After the Gretna and Livi fiascos the SFL should have put in place checks on directors and a series of sanctions on directors if they fail to carry out their duties.
    Checks should have been put in place I agree but this is a club who have been through more than their fair share of 'dodgy' benefactors (how many times have you failed to learn the lesson?) and despite having a fan on the board still kidded themselves on that they would be fine. It was the fans who advertised for Mr Melville remember? The fact that he then ran your club into the ground (and this so soon after the last lot) is surely first and foremost YOUR responsibility.

    Always someone's fault eh?

    If you are real supporters then ask your own teams touigh questions about their finances and concentrate on your own futures instead of wallowing in DFC's predicament.
    Isn't wallowing and moaning about an imagined unfairness exactly what the Dees are doing, including your fan rep on the board who did nothing at the time to save his own club: but now can't keep quiet!

    'Tough questions'? What exactly have Dees fans been doing this past decade?

  • Comment number 91.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 92.

    The recurring levels of administration in the EPL are proof that vetting the prospective owner is NO guarantee of proper business practices being applied in football clubs.

    But imagine if such a system was in place, would they have knocked back Mr Melville on the evidence that would have been provided to them? I seriously doubt it. There would have been an uproar in DFC about being denied cash if Mr Melville's takover was blocked: the future of the club would be threatened, blah, blah, blah..

    Failure is not inevitable but you do significantly increase the chances of it if you maximise your risks. Plenty of clubs don't do the latter and survive. Look at St Johnstone. Dundee did maximise their risks and might not survive. So what? That was their choice of business practice. You put too much faith in regulation. You are surely not talking about a system of regulation where the SFL would advise on the spend and finances of individual clubs, unless of course you wanted a flat spend on all clubs based say on a percentage of their turnover. Even then benefactors still have a way of dripping money into clubs and circumventing the regulations and frameworks.

    Post-hoc punishments on directors? Do you mean that the SFL should just ban them from being directors of a football club in the SFL? What toothless punishment is that? It wouldn't act as a deterrent nor be a disincentive to taking up ownership. Or do you mean that the SFL should pursue errant owners legally for damages?

    Plenty of community organisations fail and are punished for doing so. Having been here so recently the directors and fans of DFC would have been more than aware of the consequences of failure in a footballing context.

  • Comment number 93.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 94.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 95.

    Why has my comment at 94 been removed? I have read and re-read the House Rules and can't see that I have broken any of them. Therefore by saying that I have done so you are actions are, in my view, defamatory.

  • Comment number 96.

    Okay - will try again!
    As with Livy and Gretna there are a lot of wee businesses getting "shafted" (Jim Spence's expression, not mine) by football not getting its house in order and allowing clubs to go into administration, wipe out their debt obligations and then carry on as if nothing happened (although that didn't happen with Gretna of course - they just went out of busines and the creditors still lost out).
    As a self-employed wee business man its not on. I put money aside every month and pay all my taxes on time and in full. I never spend what I don't have or take out a loan I can't pay off yet others who owe me money can just walk away without paying me and carry on as if nothing had happened. When are Jim Spence and Dundee fans going to acknowledge there are ordinary people whose livelihoods are being "shafted" (Jim Spence) by the actions of DFC? The fans had representation on the Board -if this is the Boards fault then what diud the fans reps do to stop it?
    If Dundee fans are going to boycott away games to hit other clubs in the pocket I don't see how that's going to persuade the other clubs to come on their side (and of course other clubs may advise their own fans not to travel to Dundee as a form of quid pro quo).
    I do feel sorry for the fans but the club has to live within its means. I see no problem with them working their way back up from Division 2 - better to have an SFL 2 team to support than no team at all. But Dundee have no given right to be in the SPL and their fans have no right to expect it any time soon.

  • Comment number 97.

    Mr Spence you need your Brain tested.

    Dundee have made there bed and should lie in it!!!!!

    And as too boycotting away games...Will The tangerines across the street see a rise in Crowds?


  • Comment number 98.

    Raith Rovers, for instance, are due two visits from Dundee and stand to lose around £40,000 from the absence of an expected 4,000 visiting fans for the two games, if the boycott goes ahead.

    When Dundee last visited Starks Park their support barely reached 3 figures, why ?
    Well football fans are fickle and they had all but lost (they did that night) the title to Inverness. Given their poor start to the season there is no guarantee that the travelling support would be as high as your predicition.

  • Comment number 99.

    If you treat football as a business then clubs will fail off the park.

    If you treat football as a sport then clubs will only fail on the park.

    You can treat football as a business before administration and then a sport after administration then you are ensuring that clubs will fail on and off the park.

    That is an utterly nonsensical way to deal with football clubs who are poorly managed ........... but that is how the SFL treat the situation.

    The only way you can deal with community organisations like local football clubs is to ensure that they are properly managed in the first way.

    It is the SFL's responsibilty that current directors and benefactors and potential directors and benefactors pass muster.

    The SFL have clearly failed to do this. The SFL are more at fault than the Clydebanks, Airdries, Motherwells, Gretnas, Livingstons and Dundees of this world.

  • Comment number 100.

    If you treat football as a business then clubs will fail off the park.

    If you treat football as a sport then clubs will only fail on the park.

    If you treat football as a business before administration and then a sport after administration then you are ensuring that clubs will fail on and off the park.

    That is an utterly nonsensical way to deal with football clubs who are poorly managed ........... but that is how the SFL treat the situation.

    The only way you can deal with community organisations like local football clubs is to ensure that they are properly managed in the first way.

    It is the SFL's responsibilty that current directors and benefactors and potential directors and benefactors pass muster.

    The SFL have clearly failed to do this. The SFL are more at fault than the Clydebanks, Airdries, Motherwells, Gretnas, Livingstons and Dundees of this world.


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