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GEORGE CRAN: Dundee owner Tim Keyes was there but did Saints clash mask real problems at Dens Park?

Dundee owner Tim Keyes (L) and managing director John Nelms at the St Johnstone match.
Dundee owner Tim Keyes (L) and managing director John Nelms at the St Johnstone match.

It was good to see Dundee owner Tim Keyes in the stands for the weekend game.

I often wonder how much notice he actually takes about goings on at Dens Park from across the Atlantic.

He had business in London but didn’t have to jet up to Saturday’s game, even if it was just a flying visit, so that was a positive sign.

My major worry is, however, that the big problems Dundee have had this season weren’t clearly visible to someone who hasn’t been immersed in a dark blue bubble.

Another man’s boots

Dundee fans, put yourself in the boots of a man who hadn’t been to a game all season.

Arrive at the stadium with almost 8,000 people there to watch the big match.

Great atmosphere, real positive vibes before kick-off.

Dundee fans in the South East Section make some noise.

Then, the game starts and the team looks really good in the early stages.

Scores a cracking goal and appears to be a side in a good place.

Even when that fades and St Johnstone take control of the game, there’s still a strong ending to the game and a match that ends all square.

So, you’ve got a noisy home support turning up in their numbers, buying tickets and spending money at the ground.

Then a team that put in a positive performance, even if the result fell short.

No sign of discontent in the stands, no sign of unhappy fans who have watched some pretty poor stuff this season.

No sign of some of the performances put in on the park this term.

What does he think?

So, a man who hasn’t been at a game in years heads away thinking ‘things aren’t so bad, league position is poor but there’s plenty going right at this club’.

My worry is that’s what Tim Keyes is thinking now he’s left town again.

The club and John Nelms will now just continue the same way they have been for months, or maybe years, now.

Dundee fans showed their apathy in a recent cup match against Rangers.

Attempts have been made by the club to mend the broken relationship between owners and fans, credible ones too.

But there is a long way to go on that front.

It will take time to see if the open letters and discussions with fan groups will have a long-term positive effect.

It is far too early to write that off.

On-pitch

Disappearing down the relegation rabbit hole without a victory in three months won’t help matters, however.

The team can still sort that out and I’m sure they will. Even the dreadful side of 2019 managed a win towards the end.

Hopefully this Dundee side can make it a bit interesting by winning this weekend at Aberdeen.

They have shown in spells throughout the season they have it in them.

Dundee’s Charlie Adam at full-time against St Johnstone.

Taking chances hasn’t been their thing this season, though.

Once more over the weekend, Dundee didn’t take the opportunity to clamber closer to St Johnstone.

As a result they have effectively made themselves heavy favourites for the drop.

That’s a big problem.

However, the bigger problem for me, as mean as it may sound, is that Tim Keyes will have enjoyed his trip to the football on a beautiful day.

A day that hid all the big problems behind the scenes at Dens Park.

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