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Now it’s goodbye to United!

Updated: Dec 30, 2020

No doubt I will go to the occasional United match in the future but the days when Saturdays were reserved for attending football matches at Tannadice are well and truly over.    

On the eve of the thirtieth anniversary of Dundee United’s greatest achievement, the winning of the Premier Division, I e-mailed the club advising that I wished to cancel my monthly standing order covering advance monthly payments of my 2014-15 DUFC season ticket and I also requested to be reimbursed for all the money paid in advance during the last twelve months towards a season ticket for Season 2013-14. “I no longer require this season ticket – for seat D132 in the upper section of the George Fox stand,” I stated.

I have gone from someone who could accurately be described as being a Dundee United fanatic to someone who can’t even be bothered getting ready to go to a match. Most Saturdays I would rather stay at home! Even when I go to Tannadice, I no longer really care about the proceedings or the outcome. I spend a lot of my time looking at my watch and the best part of the whole afternoon is getting back in my car and heading home!

I’ve felt like this for some time and the beginning of my waned enthusiasm can be traced back to my involvement with the club fourteen years ago when first I worked as a direct employee at Tannadice and subsequently became a self-employed sub-contractor. Those who claim you should never mix business with pleasure may have a point.

The ending of my support for Dundee United began on 25 March 2013 when I sent the following letter:

Broughty Ferry Dundee DD5 2LZ 25 March 2013

Mr. Stephen Thompson Chairman, Dundee United Football Club Tannadice Park DD3 7JW Dear Mr. Thompson

I today received your note and associated documentation regarding the Season Ticket Budget Facility. At the age of 65, and with my wife about to join me in retirement, I have for some time been considering whether to ensure future week-end activities were free from football fixture list considerations. This of course would mean ending my regular attendance at Tannadice (and thus my season ticket purchase) for the first time since I moved to Dundee in 1976. For the last two seasons I have missed as many home matches as I have attended and to be honest I had almost reached the stage of looking for an excuse to end my support. Your first paragraph’s mention of the brochure “to be sent out to all supporters on our database” provided such an opportunity.

I wrote about this the first time it happened. I cannot understand why a separate mailing list can’t be produced EXCLUDING those who have already purchased a season ticket via the season ticket budget facility. This appears to be a complete waste of money on postage, and of course there’s never a good time for a business to waste money.

So I was all set to write this evening and ask for my contributions towards the 2013-14 season ticket to be refunded. However, this afternoon I visited the Souvenir Shop to purchase a United home top, suitably customised on the back, for one of my wife’s nephews. I was, in the main, served by Helen Docherty who knows me from my short time working in the Commercial Department many years ago. Helen could not have been nicer, or more helpful, and I came away from the shop with all doubts about ending my support for the club completely banished! How could I even think of walking away?!!

I still think you should look at the postal costs which are about to be wasted yet again, but probably more importantly I would be grateful if you will note and pass on my comments about Helen.

Yours sincerely…

For five weeks I expected some kind of response from the club about the points raised. In particular I was hoping to be told that my comments about Helen Docherty had been passed on to her.

In the absence of any reply I have concluded that Dundee United do not really value my support. During my thirty-six years as a United supporter I have in the past been invited to meet Mr. George Fox at Tannadice to discuss suggestions I had made to improve the club. I have also met Jim McLean to have similar conversations and on one occasion, to the amazement of my wife, Jim McLean even phoned me at my house to talk about constructive comments I had made to him by letter.

It seems that this greatly appreciated level of interaction with supporters (and in my case also an ex-employee) is no longer consider important at Tannadice. I have had no faith in Stephen Thompson’s leadership from the very beginning and to now experience that he presides over an organisation which doesn’t respond to its customers should be no real surprise.

No doubt I will go to the occasional United match in the future but the days when Saturdays were reserved for attending football matches at Tannadice are well and truly over.    

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