Dundee are “excited” after taking the next step in their Camperdown stadium dream.
Managing director John Nelms revealed the club has appointed a project manager to take plans for a new ground forward.
Though finances for the project are not yet in place, the American says they are “just about there” and hopes to be able to get work started in the near future.
Despite the financial stresses of the pandemic over the past 14 months, Nelms insists the commitment from owner Tim Keyes remains undimmed.
And the American even had a promotion party in Texas to celebrate their return to the top table of Scottish football.
The Americans still plan to move Dundee from their Dens Park home into a 15,000-seater stadium at Camperdown Park, dubbed ‘New Campy’ by supporters.
Though the project has been ongoing since 2017, Nelms insists it is getting nearer to fruition.
“Things actually progressed during the pandemic and lockdown. We have hired a project manager,” he said.
“We have others involved in the project and there are understandings there.
“I’ve said this before so I apologise if people are upset about it but we are getting very close to getting an understanding of when we can press the button.
“Once we do that we will be going 100mph.
“We have an investment philosophy in the States where we have a certain amount of capital we put in and the rest is dealt with by banks or other investors.
“In the States if we said stadium we’d have every bank in the country queuing up. Say stadium in this country and they run the other direction.
“That’s our plight.
“Early doors we thought we had agreements with local council but they fell away and we’ve had to figure out issues along the way.
“I think we are just about there. We are excited about it.”
He added: “Once the finances are in place, that’s when I will say something meaningful.”
Owner Keyes hasn’t been able to travel to Dundee due to coronavirus restrictions for some time now.
However, Nelms says he received a boisterous celebratory phone call from a restaurant in Texas from a delighted Keyes.
“It’s been incredibly difficult (not to travel across) but we have a group of guys we are really close with back in Texas and they were all together watching the game,” Nelms said.
“They were at a restaurant called Giovanni’s near Austin and it was 1.45pm kick-off for them.
“When I talked to them on the way back up the road they were having a great time!
“I asked: ‘Aren’t you guys supposed to be working?’
“‘Not today!’ was the answer!
“The guys took the day off and supported us. It was amazing to hear how happy Tim was and the other guys as well.”
He added: “His commitment remains the same. We want to build a stadium and provide the best we can for the organisation.
“We have ups and downs like everyone else but the commitment is always there and it’s about how we are going to get through this.”
TOMORROW: ‘We knew we’d get grief’ – John Nelms on standing by manager James McPake and avoiding social media