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Stand Free!

Dons manager takes fierce backlash from Dundee minks


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http://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/Article.aspx/1500367/?UserKey=

 

Dundee United and Dundee have, for once, joined forces  –  but only to reject Aberdeen manager Mark McGhee’s ideas for the game.

McGhee’s views  included the merging of the two Dundee clubs  –  as well as teams from the Irish leagues joining the SPL.

But his comments were met with bewilderment at bothTannadice and Dens Park, with managers Craig Levein and Jocky Scott farfrom thrilled.

United manager Levein, who is also director offootball, flatly rejected the possibility of clubs with suchillustrious histories joining forces. As someone who lived throughWallace Mercer’s ill-fated attempt to merge Hearts and Hibs, he knowsthe depth of feeling against it.

He said: “It’s simply not feasible for two clubs with the great tradition of United and Dundee to merge.

“It’s not viable because both clubs have their ownidentity and nobody would want to lose that. There’s a great depth offeeling for both teams in the city and that’s a good thing. We saw atthe recent derby, even though it wasn’t even a competitive game, whatit meant to supporters and players.

“But as for mergers, maybe Aberdeen could merge withPeterhead or Celtic and Rangers could join forces then? It’s not goingto happen.â€

Levein would have no opposition to the Dundee teams sharing a stadium, but knows it would require significant council funding.

He added: “If the council had the money and we allcould afford it, it would be great to build a 20,000 all-seater stadiumin the city to share. That would be sensible.

“Both our grounds are probably a bit past their sell-by dates.

“People relate to their stadiums and it would be a wrench to move.

“But it has been shown in the past – with Arsenal for example – it’s the team which is the most important thing.

“But other than a ground-share, the idea of merging is a total non-starter.â€

McGhee’s comments also angered Jocky Scott, whose Dundee club has  spent heavily in a bid to get  back to the SPL.

Scott, a former Aberdeen manager, has no time for the idea of Irish clubs leapfrogging over the Division 1 teams.

McGhee angered Dundee once before this season, in the build-up to the League Cup tie which was won by the Dark Blues.

Scott said: “What Mark said about the Irish clubs coming in is very insulting to the teams in the First Division.

“Mark should know how good the clubs are at our level because he watched us beat his team a few months ago.

“He’s right about the SPL bringing in more clubs,  but we’ve got plenty in Scotland of the standard required.

“We don’t need to go elsewhere to get them.

“As for mergers, that will never happen.â€

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