If you feel like you’ve read this column before it’s probably because I wrote something strikingly similar last week.
Then the saga was Dundee United, finally, sorting out wage cuts among their playing squad which was supposed to allow them to focus on the football.
They managed to do so in a highly-entertaining 2-2 draw with St Johnstone on Tuesday night, Saturday’s frozen pitch call off aside, ominously pondered in these pages, but it’s the same old story again this week as matters off the pitch took precedence in the build up.
The news that rivals Dundee were targeting a swoop for United’s top scorer Nicky Clark saw the focus shift from today’s Premiership trip to Hamilton to a potentially sensational and entirely unexpected transfer story.
As suspected, a pre-contract agreement to see Clark move across the road to Dens never came to pass, with Tangerines boss Micky Mellon reacting quickly to tie down the 29-year-old to a new two-year extension.
It’s good business for the Terrors, clearly.
Hitman Clark is in his prime and in his scoring pomp this season, netting eight goals in the league and 10 in all competitions to help propel United into the top six.
Perhaps, the Tannadice hierarchy were at fault for letting such a prized asset run into the final six months of his deal, leaving Clark free to speak to other clubs, but what’s done is done.
He’s a United player until 2023 and you feel he will be pivotal to any success the club have now and in the future.
Starting this afternoon at New Douglas Park, they’ll want to build on what’s been a decent run of late.
Mellon’s men have only lost once in their last six, however, they’ve only registered one win in that time as well.
Turning those draws into wins is what’s going to be the difference between a great season finishing in the top six and a decent season where United end up in the bottom half after the split.
Certainly, in the games ahead, with the likes of St Mirren, Motherwell, Ross County and Livingston on the horizon, the Terrors should be targeting a healthy points total.
At the top end of the pitch they’re looking fluid and confident again with Lawrence Shankland firing in rockets from 50-plus yards and Louis Appere looking back to his old self after some time spent patiently waiting on the sidelines for his chance.
A struggling Accies side should hold no fear for United, even away from home and on a notoriously-difficult astroturf pitch.
Pure and simple, the Tangerines have better players and should win through.
However, if the last few weeks, or 10 months during the coronavirus pandemic, has taught us anything, it’s to expect the unexpected.
Speaking to a few people at the club this week, I don’t think there are any concerns of complacency creeping in but United must be wary in these, the strangest of times.
My colleague George Cran said he struggled to find the words to condemn the online abuse levelled at Charlie Adam and Jonathan Afolabi in recent weeks – and I totally understand his point – but, before I kick off in earnest, I feel angry enough to give it a try.
Abhorrent, repugnant, despicable, deplorable, hateful, nonsensical, downright disgusting and knuckle-dragging ignorance.
Now I’ve got that off my chest, I’d like to offer my support to the Dundee stars on the receiving end of such horrid racist discrimination and mindless taunting.
For Afolabi to have to read the words he did after scoring an important goal for the club, simply because of the colour of his skin, is shocking.
As for Adam, the man has been through enough with the passing of his father without some idiot piling in as he grieves the recent loss of his mum.
I feel better saying my piece and, in speaking out like they have, I hope Adam and Afolabi do, too.
The best way now to really stick it to the racists and losers out there on the internet is to bag a few goals and all three points against Ayr United today.
It’s a huge game and, now more than ever, I am right behind you lads to do the business and push on up the Championship table.
Whatever happens, though, it will forever be Dundee 1 Bigots 0.
With all leagues below Championship level suspended for the time being I, once again, worry for the very futures of our smallest clubs.
As if these historic institutions haven’t had a bad enough time of it as it is, they are again facing an uncertain period of no games.
Financial packages have been put in place to help tide them over but how long can this go on for?
For me, they are being punished for the recklessness of others in the game and society in these times.
That is not only unfair but unjust and a truly perilous situation.