IN FULL: Dundee’s American owners enter into negotiations with fans for complete control at Dens Park

Dundee fans
Dundee fans

Dundee’s American owners have entered into negotiations with fans to give them complete control at Dens Park.

It has emerged talks with the Dundee Football Club Supporters Society Ltd (DFCSS) to acquire a chunk of their shares in order to bring their holding from 68.2% to over 75% have been ongoing since the summer.

Doing so would remove the veto rights of the DFCSS over a number of issues, including over the new stadium proposal at Camperdown Park but also safeguards over any future sale of the club or potential merger with another club.

However, owner Tim Keyes and managing director John Nelms could gain 75% of the club anyway through a rights issue without the agreement of the DFCSS.

Dundee chairman Tim Keyes (left) and owner John Nelms

That talks have begun between the two parties, though, suggests a desire to work with fans on the future of the club. Close collaboration between the Society and Dundee FC in the Community Trust to help with fundraising has been mooted going forward.

Before the Society decide whether to sell their shares to Football Partnership Scotland, the company set up by Keyes and Nelms to purchase the club initially, the DFCSS board have given their members the opportunity to express their views on the proposal, though under their rules are not required to do so. As it stands the Society own 20.4%, through two chunks of shares of 7.7% and 12.7%, but FPS’s proposal to acquire their 7.7% holding would bring them to 75.9% and remove any rights which could constrain future developments, notably the new stadium.

However, the loss of any veto over a potential future merger could worry fans of the club and with American owners now in charge at rivals Dundee United, speculation over that or a stadium share could intensify.

That talks have been ongoing between the club owners and the Society for a number of months previous to the Tangerines’ recent takeover by US businessman Mark Ogren, though, would dampen that considerably.

Possible options for the DFCSS include agreeing the sale and, with it, negotiating reduced rights or holding on to the shares but relaxing their rights over the new stadium to demonstrate support for the project. They can also continue holding the shares and do nothing.

Fellow-supporters group, the Dundee Supporters Association, have welcomed the discussions, saying: “The DSA are happy the club and the DFCSS are finally communicating positively.”

Dundee FC declined to comment on the matter when approached by the Tele this morning.