As the days go by, the concern for the financial situation at Dundee doesn’t get much better.
Players are taking wage cuts, most of them anyway, the youth academy is in the firing line and there’s still three months before the new season starts.
As a club the Dark Blues are obviously no strangers to financial problems with two administrations in the past 20 years.
This time, however, the purse strings are being squeezed shut through no fault of their own due to the global pandemic of the coronavirus.
As much as it is saddening to see the club take the steps mentioned, I am encouraged that managing director John Nelms and the board are ensuring the long-term viability of the club, even if it requires some very harsh decisions.
There is a cashflow problem and the Dark Blues decision-makers are dealing with it head on.
If they continued shelling out on a normal wage bill with no income, the financial trouble in the future could be catastrophic.
Hopefully, that’s a lesson learned by previous administrations, even if it’s a different regime these days.
I don’t know exactly what the financial situation is at Dens Park right now but from the outside it seems they are cutting their cloth to what they can afford right now and that’s the right move.
Previously they tried a different route by bringing in expensive players and hoping to sell on.
That obviously didn’t work and risked destroying the club completely.
The big difference this time is there isn’t a massive debt hanging over Dundee right now.
If they didn’t cut big expenditures like wages, that would look a whole lot different this time next year.
For the players, it’s a tough situation and we don’t know what their personal situations are money-wise.
It’s easy to say they are on thousands a week so they can afford a cut.
However, I know from going through administration as a player at Dens not everyone is good with money.
There are plenty who spend what they get and have budgeted the next year on a salary they now won’t receive.
That’s a really tough position to be in.
It is disappointing, though, that there is one player who hasn’t agreed to a cut.
It’s reported to be Kane Hemmings and probably the one player Dundee fans didn’t want to lose.
He’ll be a massive hole to fill in the team if he leaves.
Getting back on out on the pitch must have been a massive boost for Dundee United’s players over the weekend.
After months of inaction, just to have something approaching a proper game against another team will have been a huge step.
The bounce game against Motherwell on Saturday will also have given them a wee bit of practice of playing in front of no fans.
Mentally that’s something they’ll have to get to grips with. You could see in the early lockdown games down south, some players and teams struggled.
There was no crowd to give them a kick up the backside when they needed it.
First 45s were poor fare early on, too, and it took a gee up from the manager at
half-time to get some players going.
I’m also pleased to hear new manager Micky Mellon will give the existing players a chance to impress.
Watching them last season, we know they’ll need improvements to compete in the Premiership but it’ll do morale no harm to give last year’s champions a go in the top flight.
Players returning for pre-season unfit used to be commonplace – now, though, it’s a big story.
Celtic have to strike a balance with Leigh Griffiths, however, because his recent personal issues have to be taken into account when dealing with him.
Going through lockdown with no training to go to and being in the house, he maybe just took his foot off the gas.
He’s got some work on now, though, to get back in the good books.
I’m not surprised Man City got their Champions League ban overturned with the wealth and lawyers at their disposal.
From a neutral point of view, it’s good to have the best teams playing in the competition.