Mike Martin has increased his shareholding in Dundee United to 42.5% but he will not become the club’s owner.
He remains firm in his belief that title will go to the mystery American consortium he’s been talking to for months.
When Martin, fellow-director Jim Fyffe and two unnamed local investors bought former chairman Stephen Thompson’s 53% shareholding last month, there was immediate speculation the proposed American deal was dead.
While it has been delayed, Martin has stressed it remains on the table and is his preferred way forward.
“The long-term investors we have been speaking to, we continue to speak to. It’s not dead. I still believe that we’ll put in place a different long-term ownership structure,” said the Tangerines chairman.
“What we did in the summer was really a stepping stone towards that. I can’t go into the details regarding the deal but the idea is we have somebody come in to buy a controlling interest in the club.
“It was originally anticipated it would be done by now but there are very good reasons as to why it’s taking a little bit longer.
“As I’ve said before, these reasons are not related to Dundee United, they’re related to other things that they’re involved in. Can I guarantee it will happen? No. But do I expect it to happen. Yes.”
Having purchased the 33% holding of Justine Mitchell, daughter of late owner Eddie Thompson, earlier this year and now son Stephen’s shares, the 85% of the club the family controlled is now under the ownership of Martin, Fyffe and their two backers.
Although Martin believes that will change with the arrival of the Americans, he hopes to retain a significant involvement at Tannadice and it’s understood that could even be in his current role as chairman.
“In the discussions I’ve had thus far, there is a role for me both in terms of ownership and in terms of executive capacity and so I would hope to continue to be involved at the club,” he confirmed.
“Ultimately that’s a decision for any long-term owner of the club.”