It’s great to have some positive news coming from Dens Park as Dundee declared their player consultancy process over.
There hasn’t been much of it lately.
And even better to hear that Kane Hemmings joined the rest of the remaining first-team squad in agreeing a wage cut until May.
He’s the kind of player who could be the difference between success and failure in the Championship next season for the Dark Blues.
I’ve no doubt there were a few clubs keeping a keen eye on events at Dens in case there would be a chance to pinch him.
He didn’t quite hit the heights we know he can last year, though he was building up a head of steam before the shutdown, but he’s better than the Championship and such a key player for Dundee.
I have to admit the longer things stretched beyond the initial deadline set by the club almost two weeks ago, the less likely I thought there would be an agreement reached.
For the club, it’s a major milestone in their plans to cut their cloth to suit the current plight they find themselves in thanks to the coronavirus shutdown.
However, it is just one step on what will be a long road.
The SPFL this week confirmed the Betfred Cup would kick off on October 6 which means another 76 days without competitive action for James McPake’s men.
Two-and-a-half months with no matchday income will stretch the club to its limit.
However, players agreeing to a 50% wage cut until October and then 25% through the season will make a sizeable dent in outgoings.
The furlough scheme is also still in use which will help out as well.
Paying the wages of the first-team players and staff is the biggest expenditure for the club, cutting that in half for the next while is certainly a step in the right direction.
Credit to the players for that, it’s not a decision I would like to be dealt, facing up to the next few months on half-pay.
Then there are cuts being made to the academy with some coaches willing to give up their time for free.
That sort of attitude shows just what Dundee Football Club means to a lot of people and it is heartening to hear.
Like I wrote last week, there’s no one to blame for this situation but the news on Monday maybe gives a bit of hope the club can emerge beyond the shutdown looking something like its old self before the pandemic.
If it is to do that, there are plenty more steps to be made before October, however.
It is a long, long road to recovery.
Just like almost everything this year, Dundee United’s preparations for the new season feel very strange.
Playing bounce games against fellow Premiership clubs and being unable to go and watch leaves an unreal feeling about the new season starting next week.
Normally at this time of year we’d be stuck right into the Betfred Cup group stages and figuring out how the team is looking for the campaign ahead.
Now, though, there’s a big element of guesswork.
Today’s game, though, will give something of an indication where Micky Mellon’s men are.
Taking on Rangers, a team intent on breaking Celtic’s stranglehold over the Premiership title and fresh from a friendly cup win in France, will be a serious test.
As always, the result will be affected by loads of substitutions and all that.
However, it’s a very interesting step up for the Tangerines from Livingston and Motherwell.
If they didn’t know already, Rangers will show them the level they need to be at in the top flight.
What has happened to David De Gea?!
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is still calling the Spanish goalie the best in the world.
I’d have agreed with that a few years ago – now, he’s barely a shadow of his former self.
Hopefully, it’s just a poor spell and he bounces back.
It’s strange, though – when Man U were rubbish, he was outstanding, now they are finally looking like a team that can do something and De Gea is the rubbish one.
The Scottish Cup Final has been pencilled in just before Christmas.
Normally sunburn is a danger on that day – this year it’ll be icicles hanging from the nose, teeth chattering and frostbite.