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Would you have voted FPS into power?

Now I will start this off by saying I have no real knowledge of how the club was being run under fan ownership. I've heard the rumours that we were being run into the ground but is that really true? The way I see it is we were doing not too badly for a club that had just come out of administration. We were living within our means as far as I am aware?

There is no doubt when FPS came in it brought a lot of optimism to the club. The decision to bring in Paul Hartley was a great one. If he hadn't come in we probably wouldn't have won the league. The following season, ticket prices were frozen (I think?), sensible signings were made and we had a good season. Up until then all was going well and I really thought the club was going places.

From then on it has been one poor decision after another from FPS. Terrible transfer windows, throwing away money with long term contracts for poor players, a bizarre manager appointment and most importantly driving away fans with significant ticket price increases.

I keep hearing "FPS have done a lot of good for this club". What is it they have done that has been so good? Fair play they have put their money where their mouth is but what is the point when you don't have people in place to competently spend it?

Right now we are odds on favourite to be relegated, running at losses of between £500k - £1m per year, letting Dens fall apart, looking increasingly likely the new stadium idea is not happening, have a Board trying to force DFCSS to give up their shares/vetoes and have a support declining more and more every season. If we do get relegated I would argue we will be in a worse state than when FPS took over.

The season ticket announcement is what has made me feel the need to write this post. It has proven beyond doubt to me that FPS are only interested in getting as much money as possible out of the fans that are daft enough to pay. When/if we move to the new stadium will it be a case that they will only be interested in getting as much rent as possible from the club?

I have had some concerns for a while about the way this club was heading but this has just proven to me that FPS are going to run this club into the ground eventually. There has been an opportunity to become the best supported club in the city but decisions made mean we are going to start getting crowds closer to St Johnstone's. 

So in answer to my own question, yes right now I regret my decision to vote FPS into power. In reality though it would not take radical thinking to change the atmosphere around the club. If the club announced £340 is what you'll pay for a season ticket regardless of when you buy it and also appointed someone knowledgeable to head up the football department (a Director of Football type) that would go along way to improving things on and off the park.

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If FPS had stated prior to the meeting in August 2013 that their preferred option was to leave Dens Park and move elsewhere then I would have voted against FPS purchasing a majority shareholding in Dundee Football Club Limited. 

However the damage is done and unfortunately we cannot not turn the clock back. We have to make the best of a bad job and FPS under the control of Tim Keyes (Source Dundee Football Club Limited Annual Accounts for the year ending 31st May 2018) know that Dundee supporters will support their club come what may. 

However Tim Keyes does not know how many current Dundee season ticket holders will renew their season tickets for next season or just decide to attend selected home games. 

In my opinion the obvious solution is a Q and A with Dundee supporters to be held in the Caird Hall. 

If John Nelms will not reply to emails then it is now time for ‘his boss’ Tim Keyes to take action and hold the Q & A during his next visit to Dundee. 

 

 

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First three years were very good and not far off perfect in hindsight.

Last three years have been a guide of how not to run a football club.

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Based on information available at the time it was the right thing to do and presented with the same information today I would again vote to let them in. In hindsight I don't regret it but obviously the question of 'what if' will raise its head when things are this bad.

It's subsequently transpired that much of what was promised was either unachievable or was never really planned - that's business.

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I suspect that had we stayed fan owned and not got promoted the next season we would still be in the Championship due to the clubs who came down over the next couple of seasons. This would have pushed crowds even lower. Remember we were fan owned when we had the ridiculous handling of the appointment  of Bomber.

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Don't regret it at all. They have made mistakes, but everyone makes mistakes in life. The question are they learning from it.  

Fans owned simply in my view did not work for us. 

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25 minutes ago, GordonDarkBlue said:

I suspect that had we stayed fan owned and not got promoted the next season we would still be in the Championship due to the clubs who came down over the next couple of seasons. This would have pushed crowds even lower. Remember we were fan owned when we had the ridiculous handling of the appointment  of Bomber.

It was Spoofer that appointed Bomber was it not? Spoofer's appointment was the board's mistake, Bomber was Spoofer's most glaring one.

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The best ownership we have had in my time supporting Dundee FC. I’ve been going to Dens since 1980 and for the fourth consecutive season we have finished above Utd, we have a competitive youth policy where kids are now signing for Dundee over united, we have had international players in our first team, we are trying and hopefully will have a new stadium. 

Fan ownership was dreadful. 

Communication is the only draw back with FPS, as there is none, zilch, nada.

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We had no option but to accept FPS's involvement. The fan-run experiment proved to be a disaster for DFC. Supporters were bitterly split, we had a board paralysed by fear and unable to sack the manager despite a catastrophic run of results. Most importantly we were reliant on a six- figure handout each year to plug the huge hole in our finances just to keep us afloat.

Even if we did have a choice I'm still glad FPS got involved. We've been a failure on and off the park for decades, staggering from one financial crisis to another, a yo-yo club that was fast becoming a Championship club.

Our fortunes have undoubtedly improved since FPS arrived though. We've seen some quality players like Stewart, Hemmings and Thomson, we're in the league above United for the first time since 1960 and crucially we've established ourselves in the top flight for the first time since 1990 (the bank paid for the Bonetti era so I don't think that really counts).

For the first time since the 1980s I've been able to concentrate largely on the football without having to worry about rogues in the boardroom taking us to the brink of going under.

It's fair to say we've been served beans on toast at the top table week after week for the last couple of years but the fact we're at the top table is what matters to me, and I'm in a no rush for us to bite our nose off to spite our face and tell FPS where to go.

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6 hours ago, Prince Buster said:

It was Spoofer that appointed Bomber was it not? Spoofer's appointment was the board's mistake, Bomber was Spoofer's most glaring one.

It was 'Spoofer' as you call him who employed Bomber without actually looking any further for a new manager.

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1 hour ago, TheDarkBlues said:

It was 'Spoofer' as you call him who employed Bomber without actually looking any further for a new manager.

150/1, laughing all the way to the bank. 

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There's no denying that the Keyes family have backed us well financially. The problems are down to terrible management of the club from top to bottom so the buck stops with John Nelms who is responsible for the day to day running of the club. 

Tim Keyes has been loyal to John Nelms but i think it's been to the detriment of the club and think we could have progressed under proper management. I'm not saying JN should have no involvement but definitely think he needs help from someone with experience. 

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1 hour ago, nemsadzDEE said:

There's no denying that the Keyes family have backed us well financially. The problems are down to terrible management of the club from top to bottom so the buck stops with John Nelms who is responsible for the day to day running of the club. 

Tim Keyes has been loyal to John Nelms but i think it's been to the detriment of the club and think we could have progressed under proper management. I'm not saying JN should have no involvement but definitely think he needs help from someone with experience. 

This ☝️

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11 hours ago, BigG said:

The best ownership we have had in my time supporting Dundee FC. I’ve been going to Dens since 1980 and for the fourth consecutive season we have finished above Utd, we have a competitive youth policy where kids are now signing for Dundee over united, we have had international players in our first team, we are trying and hopefully will have a new stadium. 

Fan ownership was dreadful.

Communication is the only draw back with FPS, as there is none, zilch, nada.

A good post BigG ...

And I can feel the positivity in it & it's good to point out the more positive aspects of the reign of the FPS.

As you can see above, like yourself, I did highlight & put more emphasis on  the Communication Problem.

(It's pretty hard to ignore it) But I don't think, we can take anything away from what they have achieved:chaplin:

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11 hours ago, BigG said:

The best ownership we have had in my time supporting Dundee FC. I’ve been going to Dens since 1980 and for the fourth consecutive season we have finished above Utd, we have a competitive youth policy where kids are now signing for Dundee over united, we have had international players in our first team, we are trying and hopefully will have a new stadium. 

Fan ownership was dreadful. 

Communication is the only draw back with FPS, as there is none, zilch, nada.

Few questions. Not having a go just asking for your thoughts - 

1. We will finish above United again this season - what do you think about next season? Do you think we'll finish above them next season?

2. What's more important to you, finishing above united or seeing a decent Dundee side on the park that can entertain and actually win now and again?

3. What current internationalists do we have in our first team? 

4. If fan ownership hadn't happened what state do you think the club would be in right now? Was it really that awful or was it something that was the right thing and necessary at that time? Was there an alternative?

5. With the best will in the world I can't see the new stadium ever being a reality - can you?

6. Future prospects (if there are any) and players signing for us before United aside. What players have come through our competitive youth system and are currently making a positive contribution to the first team?

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20 hours ago, Edin_Dee said:

Would you have voted FPS into power?

Now I will start this off by saying I have no real knowledge of how the club was being run under fan ownership. I've heard the rumours that we were being run into the ground but is that really true? The way I see it is we were doing not too badly for a club that had just come out of administration. We were living within our means as far as I am aware?

There is no doubt when FPS came in it brought a lot of optimism to the club. The decision to bring in Paul Hartley was a great one. If he hadn't come in we probably wouldn't have won the league. The following season, ticket prices were frozen (I think?), sensible signings were made and we had a good season. Up until then all was going well and I really thought the club was going places.

From then on it has been one poor decision after another from FPS. Terrible transfer windows, throwing away money with long term contracts for poor players, a bizarre manager appointment and most importantly driving away fans with significant ticket price increases.

I keep hearing "FPS have done a lot of good for this club". What is it they have done that has been so good? Fair play they have put their money where their mouth is but what is the point when you don't have people in place to competently spend it?

Right now we are odds on favourite to be relegated, running at losses of between £500k - £1m per year, letting Dens fall apart, looking increasingly likely the new stadium idea is not happening, have a Board trying to force DFCSS to give up their shares/vetoes and have a support declining more and more every season. If we do get relegated I would argue we will be in a worse state than when FPS took over.

The season ticket announcement is what has made me feel the need to write this post. It has proven beyond doubt to me that FPS are only interested in getting as much money as possible out of the fans that are daft enough to pay. When/if we move to the new stadium will it be a case that they will only be interested in getting as much rent as possible from the club?

I have had some concerns for a while about the way this club was heading but this has just proven to me that FPS are going to run this club into the ground eventually. There has been an opportunity to become the best supported club in the city but decisions made mean we are going to start getting crowds closer to St Johnstone's. 

So in answer to my own question, yes right now I regret my decision to vote FPS into power. In reality though it would not take radical thinking to change the atmosphere around the club. If the club announced £340 is what you'll pay for a season ticket regardless of when you buy it and also appointed someone knowledgeable to head up the football department (a Director of Football type) that would go along way to improving things on and off the park.

If we had continued under fan ownership, I think we’d have been a mid table championship club at best now. The season ticket announcement, has been handled badly, but is not a reason to hound FPS out of the club.

 

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15 minutes ago, bp33 said:

If we had continued under fan ownership, I think we’d have been a mid table championship club at best now. The season ticket announcement, has been handled badly, but is not a reason to hound FPS out of the club.

 

Agree with all that, FPS definitely better than being fan owned. What we need is to appoint a director of football to oversee everything at the club and to implement a long term strategy. It's not sustainable to keep paying off players and managers every season, it's scary to think how much we (Keyes) have spent on payoffs. 

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17 hours ago, Prince Buster said:

It was Spoofer that appointed Bomber was it not? Spoofer's appointment was the board's mistake, Bomber was Spoofer's most glaring one.

What did Bomber actually do that was so wrong?

Spoke about the Rangers a little too much? or got involved in a couple of altercations with people like Big Rab?

As a Manager for Dundee, he didn't do too badly did he?

Nearly kept us up and brought some much needed fight to team during the awful club 12 season.

It was his team that won the championship, signing some crucial players such as Letheren and later Nade. Fair enough the football was bloody awful and I'm not sure if he would have been able to finish the job but Harltey had the easy part by taking the club over the line.

Is this dislike based on him as a person?

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15 minutes ago, J_Kitamirike said:

What did Bomber actually do that was so wrong?

Spoke about the Rangers a little too much? or got involved in a couple of altercations with people like Big Rab?

As a Manager for Dundee, he didn't do too badly did he?

Nearly kept us up and brought some much needed fight to team during the awful club 12 season.

It was his team that won the championship, signing some crucial players such as Letheren and later Nade. Fair enough the football was bloody awful and I'm not sure if he would have been able to finish the job but Harltey had the easy part by taking the club over the line.

Is this dislike based on him as a person?

Here's a challenge for you.

Tell me where I said I dislike John brown.

I think his appointment was a disgrace by Gardiner and his 'big unveiling' was comic cuts stuff, I think he did what he could with his very limited managerial ability, I think he jumped ship when he realised how limited he was and I think by jumping ship he did all of us a huge favour.

I don't dislike him, I just think he was never a football manager and should never have been appointed - scary thing is Nelms did it all over again with McCann.

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43 minutes ago, nemsadzDEE said:

Agree with all that, FPS definitely better than being fan owned. What we need is to appoint a director of football to oversee everything at the club and to implement a long term strategy. It's not sustainable to keep paying off players and managers every season, it's scary to think how much we (Keyes) have spent on payoffs. 

Again exactly this. 

The point I have highlighted is the most important and most worrying factor for me. Up until now Tim Keyes has (happily or not) plugged the gaps.

But you’d have to imagine that this will not last forever. I just hope that he can see the reasons and root cause of such losses, which are in my opinion the poor decision making by JN. 

Going forward something has to change, I just hope that they don’t abandon ship

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1 hour ago, nemsadzDEE said:

Agree with all that, FPS definitely better than being fan owned. What we need is to appoint a director of football to oversee everything at the club and to implement a long term strategy. It's not sustainable to keep paying off players and managers every season, it's scary to think how much we (Keyes) have spent on payoffs. 

The club, during the Frazer and crew  period was going no place fast. In my opinion then, the period after that has been better. Having said all of that, our club was better under Bill Colvin, by an absolute mile.  Colvin was much more astute, again in my opinion.

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42 minutes ago, J_Kitamirike said:

What did Bomber actually do that was so wrong?

Spoke about the Rangers a little too much? or got involved in a couple of altercations with people like Big Rab?

As a Manager for Dundee, he didn't do too badly did he?

Nearly kept us up and brought some much needed fight to team during the awful club 12 season.

It was his team that won the championship, signing some crucial players such as Letheren and later Nade. Fair enough the football was bloody awful and I'm not sure if he would have been able to finish the job but Harltey had the easy part by taking the club over the line.

Is this dislike based on him as a person?

If Bomber was so good as manager of Dundee FC why has he not been appointed manager of another senior Football Club since stepping down at Dens in January 2014. 

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13 hours ago, Cobra said:

We had no option but to accept FPS's involvement. The fan-run experiment proved to be a disaster for DFC. Supporters were bitterly split, we had a board paralysed by fear and unable to sack the manager despite a catastrophic run of results. Most importantly we were reliant on a six- figure handout each year to plug the huge hole in our finances just to keep us afloat.

Even if we did have a choice I'm still glad FPS got involved. We've been a failure on and off the park for decades, staggering from one financial crisis to another, a yo-yo club that was fast becoming a Championship club.

Our fortunes have undoubtedly improved since FPS arrived though. We've seen some quality players like Stewart, Hemmings and Thomson, we're in the league above United for the first time since 1960 and crucially we've established ourselves in the top flight for the first time since 1990 (the bank paid for the Bonetti era so I don't think that really counts).

For the first time since the 1980s I've been able to concentrate largely on the football without having to worry about rogues in the boardroom taking us to the brink of going under.

It's fair to say we've been served beans on toast at the top table week after week for the last couple of years but the fact we're at the top table is what matters to me, and I'm in a no rush for us to bite our nose off to spite our face and tell FPS where to go.

 

17 minutes ago, dblair said:

Again exactly this. 

The point I have highlighted is the most important and most worrying factor for me. Up until now Tim Keyes has (happily or not) plugged the gaps.

But you’d have to imagine that this will not last forever. I just hope that he can see the reasons and root cause of such losses, which are in my opinion the poor decision making by JN. 

Going forward something has to change, I just hope that they don’t abandon ship

Great post @Cobra and I agree with it.

However, @dblair 's comments are pretty much where I am too.

Fan ownership wasn't a bad idea per-se, it was just very badly handled. You can see high fan involvement/investment at Hearts and proper fan ownership at Motherwell. It can work. It is working. However, what these clubs realised is that there's a huge difference between fan ownership and being fan run. With all due respect, Stirling Albion are (were?) fan run and at that is the level that sort of model will work at. Motherwell have appointed someone accountable to run the club and oversee that actual business. That feels sensible to me. The fan-ship sailed a long time ago for DFC though and I don't wish us back where we were, with petty squabbles and finger pointing. 

What concerns me however, is that we are, in business terms, no better run now than we were pre-admin 2. We are still overspending, still looking to subsidise the club through player sales, still running up a huge loss year on year and still relying on one guy to keep us afloat. Brooks MIleson (and arguable Eddie Thompson) did something similar and while he was happy to plug the gap, Gretna were in great shape, but once the unthinkable happened, it was see ya later time.

Make no mistake, that's where we still are. If Keyes walks, we're done. Thankfully there doesn't seem to be any sign of that, but recent events make me wonder how they are now viewing their involvement, what with the A share debacle, now the share option/buy out thing and the seeming clamour to reduce the tax spend (totally understandable I may add). These things suggest that rather than looking to pave the way for a new ground, they are preparing for life at Dens and looking to cut costs/overheads. Add in the smoke and mirrors communication about it and and the whole thing feels dangerously close to the beginning of something... 

To answer the question though. I voted for FPS and believe that in the time since, it has been the correct option. I don't think we'd have thrived under the model of fan ownership we adopted and think folk suggesting we would be a mid-table Championship side might actually be placing us higher than where we were really headed. I honestly think relegation from that division was as likely to happen as stability within it. Therefore I'm thankful for where we are now, even if I'm not enjoying following the team as much as I'd like to.

What the future holds, now that's a different question entirely. 

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2 hours ago, Prince Buster said:

Few questions. Not having a go just asking for your thoughts - 

1. We will finish above United again this season - what do you think about next season? Do you think we'll finish above them next season?

Yes I think we will

2. What's more important to you, finishing above united or seeing a decent Dundee side on the park that can entertain and actually win now and again?

A very interesting question. One where both answers are imo correct. Importance is maybe not the right word but I think many of us measure success against our biggest rivals and therefore finishing above them whichever league we or they are in will always be seen as somewhat important. Let’s not beat about the bush, we aren’t going to be challenging in the top half of the league anytime soon and sadly cup wins are and will continue to be generations apart. Looking at the bigger picture away from season to season performances, staying above or ahead of united will eventually lead to more kids being drawn to the more successful team in the city, so in that sense then it is perhaps important.

3. What current internationalists do we have in our first team? 

None

4. If fan ownership hadn't happened what state do you think the club would be in right now? Was it really that awful or was it something that was the right thing and necessary at that time? Was there an alternative?

As has been discussed already many times, fan ownership isn’t the worst thing in the world.Fans run is however IMO never a viable option for a professional club. 

5. With the best will in the world I can't see the new stadium ever being a reality - can you?

As time passes without any further comment the sadly no, I’m beginning to lean towards the opinion that it won’t happen. (I do live in hope though)

6. Future prospects (if there are any) and players signing for us before United aside. What players have come through our competitive youth system and are currently making a positive contribution to the first team?

I think the point that was being made was that by being the higher profile club in the city now, we are managing to finally catch up on youth player recruitment locally. This is something that will take years unfortunately to be able to fully realise the benefit it has for us

 

Thought I’d have a quick bash at your questions mate 😉

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