Dundee United supporters group demands ‘Arab summit’ in bid for change

Dundee United chairman Stephen Thompson

A prominent fan is calling for an “Arab Summit” so supporters groups can present a united front in their bid for change at Dundee United.

ArabTRUST board member Mike Barile wants to see representatives of his organisation, the Federation of United Supporters Clubs, the United Business Club, United Ladies of Tannadice and two recently-formed groups, Dundee United Supporters Foundation and Fans United sit down together as soon as possible.

He believes that way a single plan to put pressure on club chairman Stephen Thompson to make the changes many supporters want, or even quit altogether, could be formulated.

Unless that happens, he fears most supporters’ groups will continue to be shut out at Tannadice.

“I do believe if we going to get change the next stage has to be this Arab summit, I think it’s essential,” said Barile.

“The fans have to be united. If we’re split into factions, things won’t change. Unity is strength but, if we are divided, we can’t win.

“And in practical terms, right now there are too many groups to expect the club to be meeting with us all.”

His call follows the Tele’s interview with Stephen Thompson yesterday in which he asked fans to keep supporting the club, even if they are unhappy with the job he’s been doing.

It also comes after ArabTRUST’s own AGM was held last night.

Outside of Thompson and his sister Justine, the trust is the club’s biggest shareholder and has its own associate director at Tannadice in the shape of Stuart Campbell.

That gives ArabTRUST an in at Tannadice most other organisations don’t have.

Despite assurances from Thompson that plans were in place to keep the club running next season, whether or not they win promotion back to the Premiership, the mood at last night’s AGM remained very much that change in the boardroom is needed.

“The consensus is that Stephen Thompson is not the man to take us anywhere,” added Barile.

“Until someone better is prepared to put their money up, there is not a lot that can be done to get him out.

“But, if we all come together and present that united front, we can bring about change.”

It’s understood there has been some dialogue between the various organisations about getting together but whether or not a fan summit takes place remains to be seen.

In the past, there has been friction between the organisations and that, in part, explains why the two newest groups have been formed.

One of them, Fans United, have also issued a statement in the wake of interviews given by the club chairman this week.

“If Mr Thompson can show evidence he has robust plans which we can believe in, then that will give many the reassurance they currently need,” it read.

“If, however, he continues to refuse to meet with representatives of Fans United, then we will continue to pursue all available options to drive positive change at the club.”

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