The Dundee FC Supporters’ Society (DFCSS) admits it rejected an approach for a “no-strings-attached” donation from Dundee FC.
But the fans’ group insists it wants to help the cash-strapped club through Covid-19 – and has called for “constructive dialogue” with managing director John Nelms.
The Dark Blues hit out at the DFCSS after revealing the group refused a request to donate a five-figure sum from its cash reserves.
Dee director Bob Hynd quit the Society board over the row, with the Dens Park club accusing the group of offering “little to no help” over a period of seven years, despite having profited from the club’s intellectual property.
The DFCSS hit back at that claim, maintaining it has a duty to its members not to simply hand over cash.
And, in a statement, the Society – which is working to set-up a monthly, direct-to-club donation scheme – revealed its willingness to sit down to discussions about alternative funding arrangements.
“The DFCSS/Dee4Life directors wish to confirm their extreme surprise and disappointment at the resignation of Bob Hynd and record their gratitude for his valued contribution to the Society and the important role he performed as a colleague and bridge between the Society and the club over the years,” said the statement.
“All Society directors and members are extremely passionate Dundee supporters and we want to help the club through these extraordinarily difficult times.
“The recent press statement from the club refers to the Society rejecting a request for financial assistance from the funds we currently hold.
“The fact of the matter is the Society rules, in common with other supporters’ trusts, do not encourage ‘no strings attached’ donations such as this and that is why the Society directors decided they could not agree to the request as it stood.
“In light of the perilous situation facing clubs across the country the Society board is exploring other means by which it could provide the club with funding at this time, including the purchase of shares or an interest-free loan.
“Furthermore, given the fact this could account for a significant portion of the Society’s reserves, the Society directors would wish to consult with the members over any such proposal and provide them with a comprehensive set of facts to allow them to decide how their money is spent.
“Unfortunately, the discussions with the club were short-lived and these alternatives were not considered.
“The press statement also referred to £38,000 being held by the Society and claimed that the money was raised using the club’s intellectual property.
“The reality of the situation is that the Society had a legal agreement with the club relating to its intellectual property, which included a profit share arrangement which was fully adhered to.
“Since this agreement linked to DFCTV was brought to an end by the club in 2015, the Society has committed around £25,000 to club-related causes, so only a small proportion of the residual profit remains.
“The balance of the Society’s reserves consists of members’ money raised through subscriptions, donations and a fundraising event.
“In spite of the situation, a small group of Society members and other supporters continue to work on a proposal to establish a ‘Monthly Donations Fund’ for all supporters to participate in, if they wish, that would put money directly into the club.
“The Society is keen to help as much as possible with this initiative and has agreed to support an online platform for the fund.
“Finally, everyone in the Society wants to help the club as much as possible within the parameters of the Society’s rules and would welcome constructive dialogue with the club over ways we can help out at this particularly challenging time.”
Last week assistant manager Jimmy Nicholl and sports scientist Cammy McDermid became the first victims of cost-cutting at Dundee due to the Covid-19 shutdown.
The Dark Blues squad has been asked to agree to salary reductions of around 30%, with captain Josh Meekings leaving Dens Park after rejecting the new terms offered.