Happy Easter to all of the Dundee fans and all football fans over the world! It’s been a few weeks since our last statement regarding the intense impact of COVID-19 on our culture. Unfortunately, since that time, we’ve all witnessed how this sinister virus is impacting our families, our communities and our national past time, football. We continue to have a daunting task ahead of us, but we are encouraged by everyday acts of kindness, resolution, and humanity that we are all sharing as we get through this together. Even though these are frightening times for us all, we remain optimistic that together we will defeat this virus and we will once again be in the terracing cheering on our squad. As we go into the Easter weekend it is more important than ever that we take care of each other make sure that all of our loved ones are held close – even though we have to keep our distance. As we stated before we are truly all in this together, and as such, we will get through this together.
This Wednesday past we received the SPFL board proposal to end the season, and within the meeting we had our first discussions around the merits of the proposal. We have since had a very close look at the SPFL’s proposal and taken advice on it in the first instance. First, we would like to say we appreciate all of the efforts by the SPFL executive, board, and staff for putting together such a comprehensive plan in such a short period of time. We also appreciate all of the discussion with the other member clubs who have been open and honest with their opinions of the proposal.
As we all know, clubs are struggling at the moment. Currently we are all in the same boat; similarly we have all been helped by selfless acts of compassion and thoughtfulness to keep our clubs ticking over. In contrast to so much positivity and support, the language in the current proposal condemns clubs to be financially worse off than they already are as we sit here today. This has been difficult to accept. The SPFL Board and Executive freely admit that they focused on the sporting merit of the proposal and did not take into consideration any financial fall out to their member clubs. We believe that any proposal presented should be comprehensive and consider the sporting AND financial implications for the member clubs.
Fundamentally, we believe that in these exceptional and uncertain times, no member club should be worse off as a result of this proposal than they are today. The current proposal will see member clubs cumulatively have in the region of £3.5-£4 million pounds of lost revenue. This loss of revenue will land at a time when clubs are coming out of the crisis and striving to get back to normalcy. We can’t imagine that any member club would intend to cause such harm to colleagues; indeed, in the face of a world-wide crisis we should all be helping each other get through these difficult times. It is a time for integrity and impartiality, which we have been witnessing every day throughout society and should be the same in football.
Amongst the member clubs there have been numerous discussions of the SPFL’s offer as well as viable, equitable proposed alternatives that could see potentially a neutral outcome for all clubs involved if the season cannot be finished. In all cases, current placement monies could be distributed to the member clubs in very short order while maintaining all SPFL obligations. Make no mistake; we would have to work quickly and diligently to ensure that members’ current needs are met and that the democratic process is followed, but it is achievable.
From all of us at Dundee Football Club, please stay safe and healthy – and stay at home. We must support our NHS, frontline workers, essential workers, and all of their families. We wish all of you well and look forward to seeing you when we come through this crisis together.