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News: Who Was Ron Dixon?


UWTB1893

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For any fans that are too young to remember Ron Dixon, he was a Canadian millionaire who purchased Dundee Football Club back in 1992 and remained owner until the Marrs bought him out in 1997. He was a man who was full of ideas and big plans but rarely ever backed them up. His era started with hopes of making Dundee a force in Scottish football again but it would ultimately end with the club nearly going bust. Some would describe him as a charlatan, some would use much stronger words.

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I had the dubious honour of setting up a meeting with David Holmes at his Falkirk HQ with a fellow Dee, well known at the time in journalism, to actually persuade David to get into bed with Dixon. we supplied all contact details as we we had been in fax contact with Ron prior to the meeting.

The two parties did take over DFC and to this day we thought we were doing right for our club but looking back Ron was a fast one.

Our current director, Steve Martin then led an introductory series of meetings with fans groups, including one I hosted in Edinburgh, where we met Ron and had a Q and A.

Apart from what history tells us of Rons tenure at Dens he also, allegedly took the £30k McTaggart painting off the wall,of the boardroom for his ownwership and that has died with him.

Edited by Billy Campbell's Ghost
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2 hours ago, Den Spark said:

I recall an AGM at the Angus Hotel where Dixon charmed the audience with his 'ambitions' for Dundee. I remember one gent standing up and saying of the board, "It used to be them and us and now it's 'we' ". How naiive we were.

I thought Dixon saved us from going under with Cook. If that's the case then the fans were right to get behind Dixon. I don't think we had any alternative investment back then.

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2 minutes ago, Cobra said:

I thought Dixon saved us from going under with Cook. If that's the case then the fans were right to get behind Dixon. I don't think we had any alternative investment back then.

The Dixon myth.

You need to rethink.Dixon was a crook Romanov style .He took out loans pocketed them and left the debt in the clubs name.He ripped off fans by encouraging them to take out pay day loans to buy shares and  pocketed the money.

He left a trail of debt including thousands due to ice rink shareholders.He was a con man-a crook.

There were lots of crooks around Dens at that time.

Did Angus Cooke get found out.?

This guy did.See below

(By the way thats an interesting post from B.C.G above.

Tell us more Bill.)

 

http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/12236533.Seven_years_for_Dundee_FC_ex_chairman_Solicitor_who_embezzled_more_than__83_000_from_clients_completes_fall_from_grace/

 

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19 minutes ago, JimM said:

The Dixon myth.

You need to rethink.Dixon was a crook Romanov style .He took out loans pocketed them and left the debt in the clubs name.He ripped off fans by encouraging them to take out pay day loans to buy shares and  pocketed the money.

He left a trail of debt including thousands due to ice rink shareholders.He was a con man-a crook.

There were lots of crooks around Dens at that time.

Did Angus Cooke get found out.?

This guy did.See below

(By the way thats an interesting post from B.C.G above.

Tell us more Bill.)

 

http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/12236533.Seven_years_for_Dundee_FC_ex_chairman_Solicitor_who_embezzled_more_than__83_000_from_clients_completes_fall_from_grace/

 

It was easier to hoodwink the fans before the internet.

Sounds like this guy might have been the biggest crook of the lot.

image.jpg@1.866850.jpg

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3 hours ago, Parcbara said:

The greyhound track. That did well. 

I remember the derry singing “Have you seen the dogs at Dens?” (to the tune of ‘we’ll support you ever more’)

I’m not really sure why it was sung but my suspicions are that it was aimed at Dixon over the stalling implementation of the project followed by the face-palming of the fact that the track had been made too small and that only 5 dogs could race rather than the traditional 6. 

To be fair to Dixon, he did deliver in terms of the signings of Jim Leighton (who was to know then he’d struggle with the newly introduced pass back rule), Dariuz the Pole and  Piotr Czawowiski(sp), all of which generated a lot of excitement amongst the support at the time. 

I think Dixon was the typical millionaire who promised a lot, began to deliver before getting bored pretty quickly. 

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When you look back over the last 4-5 decades of our ownership, it's easy to think we've been really unlucky with some 'doubtful characters' [wary of libel laws!], but in those same decades, a lot of UK clubs bigger & smaller than us have suffered the same issues.....and it's still going on.

I guess football clubs, like most companies, had a much slower turnover of directors prior to that....then those board positions became a target for fans who had been successful in newer businesses, as the country entered a phase of 'rich quick/bankrupt quicker' businesses. 

In my first job, as an apprentice CA, I worked for the firm in which a few of our directors were partners. The chairman, James Gellatly, had a long involvement on the club board, covering all of our post-WW2 trophies, I've forgotten the names of a couple of other directors who were also partners in the CA firm (Robert Crichton was one), and one of the Betts (builders) was also on the club board around the late 60's & early 70's. Those guys ran sound businesses, and knew how to turn a profit. The main criticism I recall of that decade's club board was that fans felt they didn't re-invest enough of the profits into the stadium or the squad....though they certainly invested some of it....Billy Steel (world record fee), Charlie Cooke (scottish record fee), the SE & Provie enclosures, concrete terracing, floodlights, a lot of this funded from selling the likes of Jimmy Gabriel, Bill Brown, Ian Ure, & Gillie.

Relegation in 1974/5 seemed to trigger a downturn in our boardroom as well as on the pitch, leading to the more frequent changes in our boardroom & ownership as described in other posts. 

Although Ron Dixon clearly had his 'dubious' side (even his reported death seemed a very strange event), he had some interesting ideas, and I recall his ideas for the Dens Road development were very imaginative, and even got as far as architects drawings to get us interested! The greyhound track, though, was a bad decision...the 'other side of the coin' from a fairly eccentric owner.

The board we have now is, arguably, the most stable we've had since James Gellatly's years of involvement & chairmanship. Although my involvement with DFCSS during, between & after the 2 administration phases has made me far more conscious/wary of how the club is being run, I'm still convinced that we need a period of stability & consistency within the boardroom, and no more extravagant bursts of outrageous spending (& similar contractual commitment). So far, that's what we appear to be getting from the current ownership. The stadium & associated development plans are - to me - not a risk to the club, provided they remain under independent ownership, with the club's liability limited to a lease agreement.     

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Got great memories of running over the greyhound track onto the pitch from the Derry as big Morten smashed home the winning penalty against Hearts in the quarter finals back in 95.

Always remember how weird it looked the first season the track was there and it made the pitch seem miles away.

Did it ever get used for dog racing?

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