Dundee United fans may have to wait until next year to witness the unveiling of the Jim McLean statue.
The Jim McLean Statue Group had initially hoped to have the tribute to United’s greatest-ever manager and former chairman in place at Tannadice by now.
However, the coronavirus put paid to their plans, with the date pushed back from Spring 2020 to as late as early 2021.
Sculptor Alan Heriot has all but finished the statue of McLean, which depicts him holding aloft the 1983 Premier Division trophy, after the required £62,000 was raised from over 700 donations.
Work has also begun to erect the structure outside the main reception at Tannadice.
However, in a statement, a steering group which includes McLean’s family, confirmed Arabs now face a wait to see their ultimate hero cast in bronze.
It read: “The Jim McLean Statue Group have today confirmed the position regarding the completion and unveiling of the statue.
“Alan Heriot, the sculptor, has completed the statue, and there is now only a final finish to be applied to it at the foundry.
“Construction work has commenced at Tannadice on the base and plinth on which the statue will be located.
“Due to the Government’s current Covid-19 restrictions, plans for the envisaged public unveiling of the statue have had to be deferred until further notice.
“In order to allow as many of the fans who donated to the project to be present, it is likely that the unveiling of the statue will have to take place much later in the year or even in early 2021.
“In the meantime, the group is liaising with the McLean family, the club and by extension the SPFL, with regards to a possible future date and will inform United fans as soon as planning for this occasion is possible again.”
The campaign to have the statue built has gained support from some of football’s biggest names, including former Aberdeen and Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, who described McLean as “one of the greatest.”
The statue will stand on a two-metre platform outside the club’s ground, with a plaque which reads ‘Jim McLean Manager 1971-1993 Chairman 1988-2000’.
McLean, now 83, is the Terrors’ longest-serving and most successful manager ever, winning three major trophies and regularly taking them into Europe.
As well as the 1983 league title, he won the League Cup in 1979 and 1980 and took the Tangerines to the 1984 European Cup semi-final and 1987 Uefa Cup Final.