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Thompson: Administration won’t happen at Dundee United

The club chairman says a structure is in place to deal with any future challenges.

Dundee United chairman Stephen Thompson has said there is no threat of administration if the team fails to be promoted to the Premiership this season.

However, Thompson said the club's current set-up would have to be reviewed if it remained in the second tier in the longer-term.

"[Administration] won't happen to Dundee United," he told STV News. "We've done various things over the last number of months.

"Don't get me wrong, it's tough but this is about everyone around the club being together.

"Not just me but the fans, we know that a number of people aren't happy with me but at the end of the day any potential boycott, all it does is damage the club, not me personally.

"One day I won't be sitting here. In the past, it was my father, before that it was Jim McLean and before that George Fox.

"Somebody else will be sitting here at some point in the future and we want to make sure that the club doesn't get damaged at any point."

Thompson said the club had already reviewed its position after relegation but said that facilities and budget had been maintained at a high level in line with the ambition of making a quick return to the Premiership.

"If we actually get out of this league and get into the Premiership, the club's actually in a good place structure-wise," he said. " If we don't, then yes it's going to be another very tough year.

"What we did this year when we were relegated was to keep the whole structure of the club together.

" So we've still got St Andrews' training facility, which costs an awful lot of money to run, we've got a fairly big budget compared to other Championship clubs apart from Hibs, we've kept the whole infrastructure. We've got the youth hostel, a youth academy across the road and everything's been kept together.

"I think if you're in this league for a few years then you have to review all that. We want to keep the structure of the club and our ambitions the same.

"If we don't get promoted it's bound to be difficult. A £2m top-line drop from two years ago versus this year has a big effect. Of course it'll be challenging again.

"When you look at the money there is in Scottish football overall there's less than £20m goes between all the clubs . The majority of that is in the top league.

"In August, when there's a payment from the league, you get £700,000 in the Premiership. In the Championship, it's £70,000."

Backing for Ray McKinnon

United have endured a difficult time over the last 18 months, suffering relegation from the top flight and the financial hit that comes with the drop.

Manager Ray McKinnon has the team in fourth place in the Championship, still in line for a promotion play-off place, and the club lifted the Challenge Cup last weekend.

Thompson said that he was pleased overall with the difference McKinnon had made since his appointment last May but conceded the current league position was disappointing.

"It has been a challenge for Ray," he said. "We went down in style last year and the whole club needed a lift and Raymond's turned it around.

"He's been disappointed recently, in recent weeks results haven't been great, but we're hoping winning the Challenge Cup - and we know it's not the Scottish Cup or League Cup, gives everyone a bit of confidence at the club to go forward.

"I'm happy with where Raymond is at the moment, though none of us are happy with where we are in the league. He's not happy with that, I'm not happy but we're working together.

"I spoke to him this morning and we were working through a number of things and he feels the pressure. I think it's a bigger job than he thought it was going to be."

Positive outlook

Despite acknowledging the current challenges and the setbacks of the last two years, the chairman said that he maintained a positive outlook and appealed to fans to back the team as they aim to restore the club's fortunes on the park.

He said: "I don't think I would be sitting here if I didn't think we had a positive future ahead of us.

"It's tough just now and it's been a tough 12-18 months. I still think we're a great club, we've got a great fanbase. It was great at the weekend seeing kids smile again and the players coming off the bus getting their pictures taken with the cup.

"It's made people happy again. We want to get the feel-good factor back again and I think the only way we're going to get that is if we get back in the Premiership.

"That's the focus just now and I want everyone to really focus on supporting the club. There'll be change somewhere along the line whether it's next year, five years, ten years.

"There's no doubt about that at the top end of the club but it's about supporting the club and we all want the team to be back in the Premiership and competing at the top end."

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