Dundee FC were plunged into administration yesterday after running up an unpaid tax bill of £365,000. Despite a pledge to donate £200,000 by director Calum Melville, the board felt that a period of administration was inevitable. The club are currently running at a loss of tens of thousands of pounds a month following activity in the transfer market last season and the signings of Gordon Chisolm as manager and of Billy Dodds as his assistant back in March, who will not have come cheap. The clubs debts could be over £1 million and they have struggled to pay players wages of late.
This is the second time in six years that the club have fallen into administration and back in May, a Dundee supporters’ group voiced concerns over the financial state of the club. Despite buying beyond their means last season, Dundee have struggled on the field this season and currently lie 6th in Scottish Division one, seven points behind the leaders Dunfermline. The club have won the Scottish league, Scottish Cup and in 1963 reached the semi-finals of the European Cup, but now face an uncertain future.
It is thought that there is a future for the club, but that their expenditure will have to be greatly reduced. The club could well face a points deduction, which could well send them towards relegation to the third tier of Scottish football. Although there is no set punishment for a Scottish club entering administration, if the examples of Livingston and Gretna are to be followed, Dundee could well face a hefty punishment.
However, this morning it has emerged that Scottish Football League chief David Longmuir has insisted the club will not be demoted. This is likely to provoke calls of protest and accusations of double standards, as yet another Scottish football club finds itself financially overextended.
There is hope and supporters representative Stuart Murphy has this morning told the Club’s website that he is working hard to form a supporters group to pick up the pieces and save the club from going under. This sort of initiative should be supported and just recently there are nearby examples that supporters can perhaps pick up the pieces and run a sustainable and community based outfit. It is hoped that this is the way forward for this famous old football club.