The Dundee United Supporters’ Foundation believe Robbie Neilson’s shock departure to Hearts is “a great opportunity” for the club to appoint a boss who shares owner Mark Ogren’s Tangerines vision.
The fan group – who recently invested £100,000 in the Premiership new boys – have also criticised the Jambos and Partick Thistle over their legal action that threatens United’s promotion.
Tannadice chiefs, along with those of League One champions Raith Rovers and League Two winners Cove Rangers, had until 5pm tonight to respond to the Court of Session case brought by the relegated sides against the SPFL, which seeks to halt their respective demotions.
In an email to its members, the DUSF touched on both subjects after an eventful week for United which kicked off with manager Neilson – appointed by previous chairman – returning to the capital.
They wrote: “Never a dull moment at Tannadice. The sudden departure of manager Robbie Neilson coupled with the desperate legal action by Hearts has meant that Arabs have had plenty to occupy our minds during this continued lockdown period.
“Any change of manager carries its risks, but on reflection, Neilson’s decision to go back to his favourite club is a great opportunity for United to bring in someone who shares the owners’ vision for the club and is committed to the future strategy, rather than someone they inherited from the previous regime.
“Robbie Neilson did as he was asked by winning the league and we will forever be grateful for that, but a change right now may just prove to be a blessing in disguise.
“Meanwhile, any sympathy we may have had for Hearts and Partick Thistle has evaporated with their attempt to hold the rest of Scottish football to ransom with their misguided court action.
“We are fully behind the United board’s response to this and with their statement issued in conjunction with Raith Rovers and Cove Rangers.
“There is a time and place to thoroughly examine the structure and decision-making processes of Scottish football, but the middle of a pandemic crisis that is threatening the very existence of some clubs is neither the time nor the place.”
Earlier this month the fan group’s members voted in favour of putting £100,000 into the club, with 99 per cent of those who took part – from a 91-per-cent turnout – backing the proposal.
The funds will go towards an upgrade of United’s academy facility at Gussie Park in line with their long-term strategy of developing the young talent and “ensuring the club’s short-term liquidity”.
And the DUSF has hailed “a big spike in fans subscribing to the Foundation” since the ballot.
They said: “Membership numbers broke through the 700 mark on the day we announced that members had voted to overwhelmingly support the proposal to hand over £100,000 to Dundee United FC.
“Almost 100 additional subscribers have signed up since the beginning of last month.
“Hopefully this is just the start of a large growth in membership as the partnership with the club is developed over the coming months.
“It is great to see the numbers increasing as quite simply, the more members we have, the greater financial opportunity we have to help the club be successful.
“As it is now clear that Foundation money (if approved in a future ballot of members) will go into a bricks and mortar project targeted at developing our future first team players, we hope many more United fans will join.
“The youth academy project once completed will be an integral part of the club and will forever be associated with the fans.”
United recently appointed a senior club representative to liaise with fan groups.
Tangerines director David Dorward will chair the new Dundee United Supporters Group (DUSG), which hopes to involve several organisations representing the views of United diehards including the ArabTRUST and the DUSF.