Legendary commentator Archie Macpherson says a Dundee United and Dundee promotion double would be a huge boost to the Scottish Premiership.
The broadcasting icon – who is doing an in-conversation at Dundee Rep Theatre on March 21 – reckons the top flight is lacking box-office appeal without the City of Discovery’s big two.
Robbie Neilson’s United are 16 points clear at the top of the Championship while James McPake’s Dark Blues recently returned to the play-off spots having gone four matches unbeaten.
Archie told the Tele: “I think city clubs like Dundee and Dundee United should be playing in the top flight together.
“Local derbies are the substance of our game now. That’s where the crowds’ hearts are.
“Aberdeen against the Dundee clubs would generate excitement, too, as would Rangers against United. We need publicity and excitement for the game.”
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Archie, in his early 80s, says it’s never been tougher financially for teams in Scotland’s second tier to reach the top flight.
The Terrors posted a £3.7 million loss and revealed a wage-to-turnover ratio of 133% in October 2019 while their Dens Park rivals last week confirmed a £1.8 million loss.
Former Scotsport commentator Archie – famed for his “Wooooof!” catchphrase – said: “The capabilities of clubs are largely down to finance.
“Even more so than in the past, it’s a real struggle for teams to break through.
“United have had their problems but it looks like they will be back in the top division.
“But it’s always going to be tough. It’s going to be very difficult for clubs to compete if they don’t have the finances.
“There might be people who still love the game and want ownership. That, hopefully, will never die out.”
Archie’s event at the Dundee Rep will come two weeks after Smile, a play about United legend Jim McLean, ends its run.
He has fond memories of covering McLean’s Tannadice heroes in domestic and European action during a glittering era for the Scottish game.
Archie said: “He was extraordinary. Very difficult to deal with at times.
“But he was brilliant on football – a real educator.
“You could sit with him and he’d open up a Pandora’s Box of revelations in terms of tactics and players.
“Jim in many ways was a modern manager, someone who considered how every aspect of life impacted on football.
“He was in step with all the modernisers, including Sir Alex Ferguson and Jock Stein.
“He was part of that cadre of new football people.”
- To book tickets to the In Conversation with Archie Macpherson event, call the Dundee Rep Theatre Box Office on 01382 223530.