as the year comes to an end

31 December 2010 08:42
2010 through dee eyes Jocky Scott arrived to manage Dundee for a third time in November 2008 following the sacking of Alex Rae and David Farrell who had left the club with it sitting in ninth place but just three months in to the job he had turned around the teams fortunes and Dundee were sitting fourth just five points behind the leaders.  It was at this point an advertisement was placed in the Sunday Times to add to the three man board at Dens Park and this began a new chapter in the history of Dundee Football Club. Douglas Kinnaird was the man tasked with the job of recommending some of the applicants to the club and towards the end of March a new man was appointed to the Board.  Calum Melville was of course the man appointed and the money he initially gifted the club prevented the club from entering administration in early 2009.  Just two weeks later Melville was giving bold statements to the local press saying, 'we can be a sustainable football club playing SPL football every season.  That's a perfectly reasonable aspiration.' as well as urging caution saying he would continue with the 'prudent approach the club has taken over the last few years' also commenting that the club was 'as steady as she goes.'  It wasn't too long before Calum started making rash promises when at the beginning of June he said that within three weeks a deal would be made with John Bennett to purchase the stadium with in the end, fell through. He did fulfil other promises however, stating he would match the sales of adult season tickets and increase the playing budget by 25% and before the start of the season Dundee had signed twelve new players and were one of only three clubs to buy players with Leigh Griffiths joining from Livingston for around £130,000 and Gary Harkins of Partick Thistle signing up after a deal for around £150,000 was signed.  Things were looking good for Dundee at the end of 2009 - on the pitch as they sat clear at the top of the table;  off the pitch we were being told how we had virtually no debt. 2010 begins and things begin to go pear shaped both on and off the pitch.  It was the third of January and Dundee were due to play Airdrie away but due to the frozen pitch the game had been switched to Dens Park and that morning loads of volunteers were at Dens battering the ice away to ensure the match commander gave the go ahead for the game he did and over 4300 braved the freezing temperatures only to see Dundee lose by a goal to nil to the side cemented to the bottom of the table between then and the corresponding fixture in March, Dundee won just two games and looked to get back to winning ways but fell to a 3-0 defeat which was the end of the road for manager Jocky Scott as he was sacked before the fans had even arrived home from the game.  Within what seemed like just hours, a new management team had been installed former captains Gordon Chisholm and Billy Dodds from Queen of the South on massive contracts, the clubs biggest mistake of contracts.  Dundee were 3 points clear when they took over but finished twelve points behind Inverness, a massive fifteen point swing in just nine games.  That was a bigger swing that under Jocky Scott.  Doubts were already being cast over the management teams ability whereas off the pitch backer Melville had decided he simply couldn't continue funding the club to the same extent as he did in the 2009/2010 season.  Chairman Bob Brannan issued an open letter at this stage urging fans to buy season tickets and commenting that: "Calum has committed to continue to provide funding to the Club but it has to be at a much more realistic level.  Consequently, we will work with a smaller pool and will seek to pay wages sufficient to attract the right quality of player, but will not be going over-the-top." which is an admission of how over the top the club did go in the 2009/2010 season.  This was the same time as Ian Bodie retired as a director which later emerged to be due to his unease at the financial situation. The new season got underway and it was a shambles just a month in to it with fans calling for a change in management team something the club simply couldn't afford to do - we were stuck with them.  Calum Melville was been suspended from COSALT where he was managing director of a division he later resigned and denied doing anything wrong.  This did however effect his fortune and effectively his financial input to the club later that month he offered his resignation which came to light on the day of former manager Jocky Scott's tribunal.  This going public caused widespread panic and just days later Melville himself admitted that administration was a distinct possibility due to the way HMRC were 'making an example of the club' he claimed the club had been in arrears for 19 months but they had demanded full payment which was around £370,000 at the time. 2010 had went wrong both on and off the pitch with the season starting very badly and Dundee finally entering administration in mid-October following negotiations between HMRC and the club breaking down and the fact Melville couldn't commit to continue spending therefore there would be cash flow problems anyway so the only route the directors could have taken was administration which may have been a blessing in disguise for the club with supporters uniting together to save their club yet again and the club being debt free come the end of the process.  It also selfishly allowed the club to dispose of a failing management team with interim manager Barry Smith doing a fantastic job in his first eight games winning five and drawing three. As the year draws to a close their is optimism that the CVA will be agreed in January which will allow the club to exit administration with the supporters and businesses owning the a community club which means because of the fundraising efforts of the fans the club will remain strong.  Even if the team on the park won't be assembled with a 'promotion budget' the fans will be happy as long as they fight for the shirt and do their best - no one knocks a tryer.  We also have our appeal to the SFA to look forward to in the New Year let's hope they rule in our favour but 25 point deduction or 10 point deduction - we will stay up. Things can only get better, look forward to 2011.