Crunch time at Tannadice
Peter Houston's managerial position at Tannadice must be sorted out pronto.
The sensible solution is for the United boss to continue as manager.
Houston, who led United to a Scottish Cup win and has taken them to third and fourth place finishes in the Scottish Premier League, as well as into Europe, deserves a quick decision if change is to be made.
Thompson and Houston have some talking to do Pic: SNS
But what lies behind the rumours, that he is facing the sack?
Currently in 10th position in the SPL, ahead of tomorrow's game at Dunfermline, which could seal his fate, Houston is perfectly entitled to think that his team is well capable of improvement in the weeks ahead.
He has a talented young squad emerging, with a base of rock solid pros like Jon Daly, Sean Dillon, John Rankin, Willo Flood and the like, to help steady the ship.
So is the problem the relationship between the manager and the chairman, which at any club is the most crucial component for success?
How strong is the bond between Stephen Thompson and his manager?
That is the question many United fans are asking.
Even with the chairman on holiday in the USA, it seems bizarre that this situation has arisen and that it could not have been sorted out quickly over the phone.
Now with the United chairman's early return from the States, the scene is set for showdown talks this Sunday between the two men.
The outcome of those deliberations could have a major impact on United's season.
Replacing Houston would be expensive, £170,000 to be precise.
That is money which could be better spent on new players to strengthen the squad.
And there is no guarantee of success with a new boss.
This is undoubtedly the United chairman's biggest decision since replacing his late father, Eddie.
Unless the relationship between the two men is broken beyond repair, then both should work hard to ensure that what has been achieved in their time together is not squandered.
Both Houston and Thompson are relatively new in their chosen fields of management and chairmanship and perhaps what is required at Tannadice is a steady elder statesman to smooth out any misunderstandings between the pair.
Both men have a potentially bright future in the game, it would be a great pity if neither fulfilled that promise.