Dundee United have endorsed die-hard Arabs Paul McNicoll and Andy Crichton’s Tynecastle to Tannadice walk to raise money to cover the club’s legal costs.
United have ditched their own crownfunding plans in the process after Paul and Andy’s campaign to fundraise for the Terrors’ battle against Hearts and Partick Thistle crossed £15,000 today.
United became embroiled in the Jambos’ and the Jags’ dispute with the SPFL after the pair lodged a petition to the Court of Session calling for last season’s promotions and relegations to be scrapped.
It was an attempt by demoted Hearts, Partick and Stranraer to save their skins after the 2019/20 campaign ended prematurely amid the coronavirus pandemic.
However, it could also mean no step up in division for the Tangerines, Raith Rovers and Cove Rangers.
As it transpired, the case was thrown out of the courts and will now be heard by an SFA arbitration panel with United, initially, calling on fans and rival clubs to help them cover the £150,000 legal fees.
Paul and Andy did just that and will next weekend embark on a 60-mile trek from Hearts’ home ground in Edinburgh back to Dundee which they estimate could take them up to 18 hours.
The Tangerines today showed their appreciation for their efforts and the donations of fellow-Arabs and football fans.
The club will welcome the pair back to the city with a socially-distanced party at Tannadice and have encouraged other supporters to back their campaign.
A club statement read: “The club statement issued on Monday July 6 provided a detailed explanation of the situation we currently find ourselves in having to defend through litigation and now arbitration our right to being promoted to the Premiership for season 2020/21.
“Together with Raith Rovers and Cove Rangers we have already incurred over £50,000 in legal costs and these costs could escalate to over £150,000 by the time arbitration concludes.
“As mentioned in our statement on July 6, the club had intended running a crowdfunding campaign to try and raise some funds to support the legal costs involved in this case.
“However, since then, two of our supporters, Paul McNicoll and Andy Crichton have set up a GoFundMe campaign to raise money to help the club.
“They are planning to walk from Tynecastle to Tannadice on Saturday 18th July to highlight the situation that Dundee United finds itself in, with all monies raised being donated to the club’s legal fund.
“Having discussed matters with Paul and Andy, the club is now formally endorsing their campaign and we are going to provide them with the support to make it as successful as possible.
“We will also arrange an event at Tannadice to welcome them on their arrival on Saturday evening.
“The event will have to comply with all current social distancing regulations and be restricted to invited guests with tickets but we hope to get as many supporters as possible in attendance to celebrate their effort.”
It continued: “In a continuing show of solidarity in defence of the case, we have had discussions with Raith Rovers and Cove Rangers and they will also be participating in this event with their own supporters running similar crowdfunding campaigns, and organising a walk from their stadiums in Kirkcaldy and Aberdeen to Tannadice on the same day.
“At the time of writing this statement, Paul and Andy’s campaign has raised over £15,000 against their initial target of £1,000.
“As well as thanking Paul and Andy for organising this and putting themselves through a gruelling walk of almost 60 miles in one day, the club would like to thank everyone who has contributed so far to their crowdfunding efforts.
“As well as hundreds of Dundee United fans making donations, many fans of other clubs have shown support to this cause, highlighting the impact this case is having on the whole of Scottish football.
“We hope that with the club’s endorsement more people can make contributions.”
United, Raith and Cove have asked their fellow-SPFL clubs for cash pledges to aid their legal fight.
The trio revealed on July 6 they intended to reach out to clubs for assistance and they have now made requests for £5000 from Premiership clubs, £2000 from Championship sides, and £1000 from those in Leagues One and Two.
Raith chairman Bill Clark has revealed a number of SPFL clubs have already pledged their support.
You can donate to Paul and Andy’s walk here.