The Pay At the Gate Scandal
No Not the Watergate One With Nixon, but the Dens Park Payatthegate Scandal.
Back in the swinging sixties Dundee fans had lived and enjoyed the glorious 1962 championship win to the full and on the park at Dens there were signs that the halcyon days were over and rebuilding had to be done - Ure and Gilzean were off to the big mone
Billy Dodds wants the fans to know the truth, but is willing sell his integrity for another crack at the assistant managers job at Dundee.
Most Dee’s will have been saddened by the recent departure of Craig ‘CW33’ Wighton to Hearts. The parallels between the journey he is setting out on and the one taken by his now ex-manager, Neil McCann, just over 20 years before him, also something that won’t have escaped those of a Dark Blue persuasion.
Back at Dens it became apparent that not everyone was dismayed by the departure of Duffy, George Shaw making a surprise return to The Dee. The striker, who had arrived at Dundee from Partick Thistle in 1994 alongside his teammate Gerry Britton (the duo’s appearance going a long way to softening the blow of Billy Dodds’ sale to St Johnstone) having recently departed Dens under a cloud. Starting the season by signing monthly deals with Duffy, the fans’ favourite would end up with a short-term loan at League of Ireland club Home Farm, before potential moves to Real Mallorca and Lleida in Spain and Germans, Stuttgart Kickers, in reality, turned out to be nothing more than the offer of a trial with each of the respective clubs.
Available to teams out with his homeland on a free, the fact that Scottish teams would still have to part with cash to secure the in-demand striker’s services scuppered a move to St Johnstone, whose offer for Shaw was £15,000 short of the £60,000 Dundee were demanding. Although Dunfermline were willing to meet that asking price, but couldn’t agree personal terms with the player.
Back in 1996 I began keeping a scrapbook detailing the fortunes of Dundee Football Club. Clippings from newspapers and other little oddities such as team-photo prints and the prospectus trying to cajole fans into buying shares in the club, all stored away for posterity. Twenty-two years later, one of my daughters was tasked with retrieving the surprisingly un-battered books (67 of the 70 that were filled - 3 remain missing in action) from our loft and for the first time in over two decades I’ve been reliving Dens days of yore.
With The Dark Blues having reached the semi-finals of the Coca Cola Cup and been riding high at the top of the old first division early in the season, by the time book two of the scrapbook years came to an end, much of that early optimism had frittered away. A run of poor form - especially in front of goal - found The Dee’s trailing St Johnstone by a massive 11 points as they battled for the one and only automatic promotion spot into the land of milk and honey, known otherwise as The Scottish Premier League.