Dundee & Dundee United dismiss merger talk: 'Not going to happen' - Mark Ogren

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No plans to merge Dundee clubs.

Dundee and Dundee United have insisted there is no plan to merge the clubs, with new United owner Mark Ogren saying it is "not going to happen".

Speculation had been fuelled by Dundee's plan for a new stadium and Ogren's takeover meaning the city's two clubs now have American owners.

Dundee issued a statement saying that at no time has a merger "ever been contemplated".

And Ogren told BBC Scotland: "We didn't buy this team to merge."

"We bought Dundee United and we're going to remain Dundee United," he added.

Ogren, a 56-year-old whose background is in software, oil and real estate, bought 85% of the Scottish Championship club in a reported £1m deal in December.

Houston-based Tim Keyes' FPS group took control of Dundee five years ago, but his fellow American stressed that he did not know those in charge of the Scottish Premiership outfit.

"I don't know that group," Ogren said. "We've never met them. We're not interested.

"People have been talking about ground-sharing, but one of the big assets we've bought is Tannadice and we expect to stay at Tannadice."

Speculation had increased about a merger following Dundee majority shareholder Keyes' plan to increase his stake above 75%.

His club was moved to respond on their website to claims made in a document sent to members of the Dundee Football Club Supporters' Society questioning his motivations.

Keyes, whose group holds a 68% stake in the club, has been in talks with the society about buying shares from them, a move that would remove a veto it holds on plans for "an amalgamation or merger with another club" agreed when FPS bought the club six years ago.

"It is disappointing to see that the society has chosen not to make it clear that at no time has the merging of the Dundee clubs ever been discussed," he said.

Keyes stressed that his share plan is designed purely to help cut Dundee's tax bill as they continue to draw up blueprints for a new 15,000-seater stadium at Camperdown Park.

United's Ogren targeting Premiership return

Dundee's Dens Park viewed from Dundee United's Tannadice Park
Dundee United's Tannadice Park is 200 yards away from Dundee's Dens Park

Meanwhile, United's Ogren, who is also the majority shareholder of the Sioux Falls Canaries baseball side, also spoke of his hopes of taking a side sitting third in the Championship back into the top flight under recently appointed manager Robbie Neilson.

"The near-term target is to get promoted to the Premiership - that's where this club belongs," Ogren said.

"More importantly, we need to keep them there. We're hoping and expecting to end up in the top six of the Premiership.

"Our plan and our model does not work if we remain in the Championship."

Ogren also said that United will be putting £5,000 towards the campaign to build a statue of former manager Jim McLean at Tannadice.

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