Dundee United’s American owners have forked out a quarter of a million pounds over the summer to make sure Tannadice is up to scratch.
And the spending to make it one of the best grounds in the country will continue over the next few years.
Tangerines managing director Mal Brannigan, while stressing no criticism was being aimed at previous regimes, has revealed the one surprise millionaire Mark Ogren and his son Scott got after buying United was the extent of work needed to the stadium.
However, he was delighted with their belief it should be undertaken as a matter of urgency.
Since the end of last season, that’s seen almost £100,000 spent on the Eddie Thompson Stand and an ongoing refurbishment of the Executive Lounge and Captain’s Suite underneath the Jerry Kerr Stand.
Other improvements sanctioned by the owners include the new ticketing system that’s now in operation and the installation of a fibre optic ring covering the entire stadium.
“The one thing that did catch us a little bit by surprise when we came in was probably the amount of investment we needed to put into Tannadice to bring her back up to speed and to better the facilities the fans were experiencing,” explained Brannigan.
“It was not necessarily an enormous surprise but, at the same time, we were probably a little bit behind where we thought we would be and we have addressed a lot of that stuff during the summer, so, when we go forward, we have good foundations in place.
“We’ve done a lot of infrastructure work. Fans will be able to look up in the Eddie Thompson and look up to the rafters and see there’s a lot of paint work that’s gone on there.
“We’ve re-netted the steelwork underneath that as well. That was something that would have had to have been done for a number of years, wasn’t done, and was something that needed addressing.”
As an experienced football administrator working in senior positions at clubs like Derby County, Sheffield United and Coventry down south, as well as Dundalk in Ireland, he understood why such work was not being done by previous regimes.
“Money goes to the team or somewhere where there’s a commercial return. It’s always worth investing, if money is tight, in somewhere where you can create actual additional working capital for the business and I have done it working in other football clubs.
“I completely understand the position the club was in. It was disappointing for ourselves in the fact it was something we’ve had to pay for but it was a reflection in the price paid.”
Brannigan believes a pleasant offshoot of the work that’s been going on and will continue is it’s been the best way of the Americans showing fans they’re at United for the long haul.
It’s also further proof Tannadice will remain United’s home.
“There’s been no commercial benefit from the work on the Eddie Thompson Stand, it was about making sure that the stadium looks in the right light again going forward.
“And Tannadice is our home and there have been no conversations or chat around the boardroom table about moving anywhere else. It’s all about improving here.”
More work is planned and a lot of that will be undertaken over the next few summers.
“I think it took us a few months to look at the football club and to see where’s good, where we would need to improve, where we would need to go in a different direction,” added Brannigan. “I think that’s probably going to be ongoing for the next couple of years.”