Dundee chief aligns club to SFL ‘rebels’

Newly relegated Dundee yesterday aligned themselves with the eight First Division clubs who have signed a letter that signals their intention to resign from the Scottish Football League.

Their bid to create a new “Championship” division following the rejection of league reconstruction plans last month will be discussed by a meeting of Scottish Premier League clubs at Hampden Park tomorrow. Although demoted to the First Division yesterday after their 1-1 draw with Aberdeen, Dundee are still in the SPL for now and will sit in on discussions tomorrow about whether to invite the SFL clubs to form a new second tier.

“I can’t speak for those clubs who have given their notice to resign,” said Dens Park chief executive Scott Gardiner yesterday. “But they signed a letter. I don’t have to resign from the SFL because I’m not in it – yet. But the clubs who signed the letter, credit to them because they managed to do something the SPL couldn’t do – they all agreed on something and signed their names on a bit of paper.”

“That is great credit to them because they’re trying to act as a group, for the good of the group,” he added. “We will find out [more] on Tuesday. I spoke to a few [SPL] chairmen today, on the way up to the game. It was all positive noises, nothing negative.”

Of the First Division clubs’ actions of last week, Gardiner added: “I think they did all they could do. They represent, effectively, the second tier of professional football in Scotland. They have had no leeway, no funding, nothing for years and years and years. So, when faced with a situation like that, what are they supposed to do?

“I understand why they’re getting called rebels but I think that’s harsh. They have all voted consistently throughout this process.”

Dundee had planned for the “worst-case scenario” of relegation, and Gardiner is backing John Brown to lead the club back up again.

“He [Brown] has done a tremendous job, off the pitch as well as on it,” said Gardiner. “He’s had a massive impact on the under-20s, the guys love training and there’s a great atmosphere throughout the club.

“You can’t praise him highly enough. The man’s like a laser beam. He’s completely focused and we’ve been to see numerous games together in the last few weeks looking at players.”