The apology is fulsome, and comes from the whole board of directors.
It is one of the most astonishing – and welcome – things I’ve seen from an SPL chairman.
This will never catch on.
But it should.
Dundee Utd’s season has been astonishingly bad, and the club has clearly been going backwards for the last couple of years. Thompson apologised for “certain decisions in the last eighteen months which in hindsight were incorrect”; a clear reference to their decision to sell key players Gary MacKay Steven, Nadir Ciftci and Stuart Armstrong to Celtic.
We all have our own feelings about how those deals have turned out, from our point of view, with Ciftci, in particular, looking like bad business, but the effects on the Tannadice club are obvious. They have been wrecked by these transfers, and letting John Souttar go was another appalling decision which they’re going to have plenty of time to regret as he becomes a top player.
United have the look of a team that is doomed.
You can sometimes tell that. I knew two years ago that Hibs were going to go. I even got a bet on it when they still had a chance of clawing their way out of the danger zone. There was just something about them; they looked done for and this Utd team looks very much the same.
I have always liked Thompson, but this has elevated my respect for him to a new height. He has done what I’ve always wanted to see a football administrator in this country do; he’s said “I got it wrong.” He’s said “you are suffering because of my decisions and I want you to know that I am sorry about that.” Can you imagine if the SFA showed the same humility, far less other clubs? Imagine anyone at Celtic issuing a communique to the supporters apologising for selling key players and admitting they got the strategy wrong?
Imagine people at Ibrox finally accepting the death of the Oldco and admitting the last four years have been based on a lie?
Stephen Thompson’s board have done the right thing here. It might have come late in the day, but he’s given the fans a reason to get behind the club once more and he’s put every single person employed there on notice; they are all working for their futures.
It probably won’t be enough to save them, and God knows I’d rather have an SPL with Dundee Utd in it than without them. I hope they make it, I really do. Theirs has always been a good club, a friendly club, one that’s had a good relationship with ours. I’d rather see Killie go down than them, for obvious reasons, including football ones.
Well done Stephen Thompson, and I hope this gesture gets you the backing your team needs to stay in the top flight.