Former chairman Stephen Thompson has finally severed all ties with Dundee United by selling his majority stake in the club to a consortium led by his successor Mike Martin.
It was announced at lunchtime on Friday that Thompson’s 53% shareholding was now in the hands of the current Tangerines chairman Martin along with fellow-director Jimmy Fyffe and two other, as yet, unnamed local businessmen.
The deal is believed to have netted Thompson around £500,000.
The first ownership change in 16 years was confirmed in a statement from Tannadice.
“Dundee United Football Club welcomes the news that club chairman, Mike Martin, board director James Fyffe and two local Dundee businessmen, both of whom are also lifelong Dundee United fans, have acquired the shareholding of former club chairman and director Stephen Thompson,” it read.
Added to that was a personal statement from Martin, who earlier this year also purchased the 33% shareholding of Thompson’s sister, Justine Mitchell.
“This share transaction strengthens our current financial position and provides the solid platform required as we continue to progress long-term investment opportunities.”
The Tele understands John Gibson is not one of the businessmen involved in this development.
But the prospect of a deal with him being resurrected appears to have prompted Martin, Fyffe and their new partners to act swiftly to ensure control of United remains in the hands of the present regime.
What it hasn’t done is see the long-awaited takeover by an American consortium materialise and it would now be a major surprise if that came about.
And it does mean the end of the Thompson family reign at Tannadice that started when the late Eddie Thompson bought out legendary former manager Jim McLean in the autumn of 2002.
Since then the family have ploughed in an estimated £4 million-plus at United and enjoyed a rollercoaster ride.
At various times Eddie Thompson, his wife Cath, daughter Justine and son Stephen have all served on the board.
Stephen became chairman following his father’s death in 2008 after a long battle with cancer.
Less than two years later came their proudest moment when the Tangerines lifted the 2010 Scottish Cup and either side of that triumph there was a succession of high league finishes.
The last few years, however, have been much more difficult and relegation from the Premiership in 2016 saw a large section of the support call for a change of ownership.
A strong sign it was coming came in March when Thompson resigned as chairman and form the board.
He immediately pledged to sell his shares as soon as possible and has now kept that promise.