Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, roll up because I am about to tell you the tale of the circus that has been Dundee Football Club for the past few weeks.
The last time I spoke to you all, Dundee were heading into the international break on the back of our eighth defeat in nine matches. Neil McCann wasn’t shown the door in the aftermath of the loss and it would seem he would be in the dugout for our clash with Livingston.
Last Tuesday though, just a mere four days before the huge match with Livi, McCann was sacked. In my eyes, it was the right decision but the timing was horrible and not the best.
It would then surface that the club were looking at bringing in an older head to help McCann out and there had been talks with his former Dunfermline manager Jim Jeffries. This was denied by the club but Jeffries confirmed he had spoken to our Managing Director John Nelms and McCann but because of his current circumstances “it was not a role he could do justice.”
So normally this would lead to a period of consultation, inviting applicants and then shifting through the preferred candidates but within one day of the managers chair being vacant, we unveiled former Ross County gaffer Jim McIntyre as our new head honcho. He wasn’t the name that many were wanting and many still feel it was a rushed appointment, especially with the situation the team find themselves in rooted at the bottom of the table.
The main problem would however lie with the man who was his number two up in the Highlands with County, Billy bloody Dodds.
Here’s the low down on why he was and still could very well be a problem. Back in 2010 when we went into administration, Billy Dodds was the assistant to our then manager Gordon Chisholm. With the club on its knees and our management duo on a healthy wage, they were one of the first people to see their contracts ripped up. Now let’s get this out the way, the way they lost their jobs was a horrendous way for anyone to find themselves on the dole. No one should have to be handed their P45 like that. They have my utter most sympathy, even if they weren’t exactly setting the league alight at the time.
It was what happened after that have made them both, especially Billy Dodds, a universal hate figure with the Dundee support.
With Dundee needing a CVA to exit administration and to keep the club alive, Chisholm and Dodds voted against it, effectively voting to kill our club. From then on in, he has been a hate figure and the mention of his name would result in an onslaught of ridicule about his oversized ears which ended in a word rhythming with hunt.
So, because of this, the Dundee support were instantly vocal in showing their displeasure if Dodds would follow McIntyre to Dens. Social media was awash with anti-big eared comments and a tsunami of emails were sent to John Nelms to explain in no uncertain terms why he should never be employed by Dundee again.
This resulted in somewhat of a u-turn in his appointment which I believe was all but made under the leadership of Nelms who must have surely gone alone on this as any sane person in the stadium could have informed him of the history between us and Billy. In fact, he could have only have Googled his name and it would have saved his email from taking the type of bashing that our defence has been taking recently.
Dodds said he voted no to a CVA out of principle and it was the right thing to do. He also said they knew that a CVA would be accepted, but what if it wasn’t that clear cut? Would the right thing to do still be his attitude if he didn’t know that a major creditor was sitting on the fence or preparing a no vote? He has been on the charm offensive since the news was leaked he had spoken to Nelms but it’s all coming across as a bit desperate with plenty of holes to pick in his reasoning.
His friends in the media have also been talking highly of Dodds. Even some people in the local press have seemed to try and down-play fans anger by labelling the backlash as ‘some’ of the support when it clearly isn’t. It’s all been a bit cringeworthy and shows everyone looking in on this situation doesn’t understand our true feelings.
As of yet, we have not appointed a number two but there is something in the charm offensive that we have seen in the press regarding Dodds that makes me think we haven’t heard the last of him.
That’s enough of that for now so let’s get back to the football side of our problems. New manager McIntrye was given less than 48 hours to sort out his first team and turn around the fortunes of the ill-fated McCann era but unfortunately, we would were whipped 4-0 away to Livingston with defenders scoring the goals, all from set-pieces. It was a horrible result and a tough start for Jim.
Then, on Tuesday night, we welcomed league leaders Hearts to Dens and they easily won 3-0 to make it two defeats on the trot in the space of just a few days. We did have a chance to make it 2-1 from the penalty spot but we couldn’t even hit the target from 12 yards.
It was a poor performance and I’m afraid we will see many more like it unless the current crop of players shows some character but I can’t see many of them being able to do so. McIntyre will have to be backed in the January window with enough funds to improve the team in every area. Our Managing Director has no choice but to make sure the manager has what he needs at his disposal to get us out of this mess which he has massively contributed to. His persevering with McCann as boss even though it was evident last season he wasn’t up to the job has cost us badly and no doubt the initial budget for this year has been spent and some more.
Our next match takes place on Halloween at home to Celtic. If we go in and concede goals as easily as we have against lesser teams compared to the champions, we can expect plenty of resulting headlines about another horror show.
MON THE DEE!