The board of directors of Dundee Football Club have sacked a man of integrity who got performances out of players which often seemed beyond their capabilities. Barry never publicly complained about his lot and he always spoke out in support of his players not as individuals but as a team. In return I believe each member of the team played his heart out for him. I think all the players in his charge have always played for the club in a hard working professional manner.
The current Dundee FC regime was to show a new way of running a football club. A club owned by its fans. A community in which everyone was in it together. Integrity and sincerity would be the order of the day and all would take responsibility for success and failure. Now that wonderful ideal is shattered. In the long run the club will suffer for this decision. The spell is broken. It is after all just the same as all the other clubs. We begin to wonder if power is widely shared at this football club or whether it remains in the hands of a few people who whisper together in darkened corners. It appears to have become again an institution which is happy to defecate on the people who give all of themselves to the cause. Now we know that the innocence has been lost, scapegoating and cynicism is back, and the door is left slightly ajar so that one day, at some time, when a seemingly saviour-like person comes along with an amount of money offering to buy us off saying she or he will bring success, we'll go along with it, and so the broken circle continues. If none of these thoughts have any basis then we can begin to imagine that the board of the club would have the courage to rescind its decision about dismissing its manager.
I have been impressed by the CEO Scot Gardiner, (even if he has been a little anal in the way he seems to need to control all the information coming out of the club), almost as much as I have been impressed with Barry Smith. It appeared that he, Gardiner, wanted to run a tidy ship and he gave the impression of being a fan. Just the other week I saw him having a half pint in the Artisan Bar in Abbeyhill in Edinburgh talking happily with fans after our impressive performance in a 0-0 draw against Hibs. I felt, "Wow, Dundee Football Club really is going to show the football world something different. It has become an open community." That notion is now in tatters.
Barry, I've never met you and I think you are the kind of man who would be embarrassed to be praised, but, as a Dundee fan for over 60 years please accept my apology that I could do nothing to prevent your dismissal. If you had to go, then in all honour so should every member of the board including the CEO.