Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

Dundee-Burnley partnership: Who are key figures in new ‘strategic alliance’?

The clubs' respective owners announced their link-up on Monday.

Burnley chairman Alan Pace (left) has joined forces with Dundee owners Tim Keyes and John Nelms.
Burnley chairman Alan Pace (left) has joined forces with Dundee owners Tim Keyes and John Nelms.

Rumours of a link-up between Scottish Premiership Dundee and English Premier League Burnley have been bubbling away for some time.

Of late, those bubbles became more and more noticeable as young players left Turf Moor to spend time at Dens Park.

After Marcel Lewis came and went, Dara Costelloe arrived on New Year’s Day before Owen Dodgson followed later in the month.C

Clarets strike prospect Michael Mellon could well join them before January ends.

The wait for official confirmation of the relationship between the clubs, however, is now over after their respective owners announced their “strategic alliance” late on Monday night.

Burnley’s American custodians hope this is just the start of a lasting relationship that brings success on both sides of the border.

The Dark Blues have spoken of “a statement of intent” in joining forces with the Turf Moor outfit.

But who are the main players in the new link-up? Courier Sport takes a look.

Alan Pace – Burnley FC chairman/ALK Capital managing partner

Alan Pace takes in a Burnley fixtur
Alan Pace is a former Wall Street banker. Image: Shutterstock.

Originally from California, Pace founded ALK Capital in 2019 before taking control of Burnley as majority shareholder.

A dual British-American citizen, Pace was a managing director at Lehman Brothers before being headhunted for the role of chief executive and president of MLS outfit Real Salt Lake.

Under his leadership, the Utah side progressed from last position to 2009 MLS champions in just two seasons.

He returned to banking before leaving again to set up ALK Capital in 2019 with a view to acquiring a football club.

Prior to that he’d focused on football scouting infrastructure tools, bringing recruitment technology products AiScout and Player Lens to the UK.

Pace took control of Burnley in 2020. Image: Shutterstock

ALK’s Burnley takeover was completed at the end of 2020, with 84% of the club bought for £170 million.

Since then, the Clarets suffered relegation from the Premier League before appointing former Manchester City superstar Vincent Kompany as manager.

Kompany rebuilt the squad and dominated the Championship, taking the club back up to the top flight at the first time of asking.

They currently sit 19th in the Premier League after 21 games.

Tim Keyes and John Nelms – Dundee FC owner and managing director

Dundee owners Tim Keyes and John Nelms with the Championship trophy last season. Image: SNS

Football Partners Scotland (FPS) are the other side of this deal.

FPS is the company set up by Texans Tim Keyes and John Nelms to purchase Dundee Football Club in 2013.

Through his family investment firm, Keyes Capital, Keyes is owner and chairman of the club, but is based in the US.

Nelms is his man on the ground, running the Dark Blues as managing director.

They have been in charge at Dens Park for over 10 years, with the club bouncing between Championship and Premiership along the way, with seven years spent in the Premiership.

The pair, through their Dark Blue Property Holdings company, are planning to build a new stadium for Dundee at Camperdown Park, with Nelms leading that project.


Dundee technical director Gordon Strachan at Dens Park.
Dundee technical director Gordon Strachan.

This link-up is expected to go beyond just a few loans crossing the border. Expertise and experience, knowledge and best practice will be shared.

Dundee have plenty of strength in those areas in their technical director, Gordon Strachan. After starting his career at Dens Park, Strachan played for Aberdeen, Manchester United, Leeds and Coventry City before a successful management career that took in Coventry, Southampton, Middlesbrough, Celtic and the Scotland national team.

Strachan has been in place at Dens Park since 2019 and has shaped the youth structure at the club as well as advising owners, managers, coaches and players.

Burnley, meanwhile, have some directors who Dundee would no doubt love to learn from.

Dave Checketts meets US President Barack Obama in 2010 as CEO of Real Salt Lake. Checketts is now a director at Burnley. Image: Shutterstock

Among them is Dave Checketts, who has been a leading figure in US sport and entertainment for four decades. His experience includes a stint as president of basketball franchise Utah Jazz at just 28 – the youngest in NBA history – time with the New York Knicks and a role as president and CEO at world-famous New York City venue Madison Square Garden.

He established Real Salt Lake in MLS before installing Alan Pace as club chief. Now Checketts is a director under Pace’s chairmanship at Burnley.

Academy staff

One figure who is likely to be much more hands-on from a Dundee point of view is Burnley director of football development Paul Jenkins.

Jenkins moved up to the director’s role after Scot, David Longwell, took over as academy manager at Turf Moor in August.

Originally from Renfrew, Longwell started at St Mirren’s academy in 2005 before a spell as assistant manager during Gary Teale’s time in charge of the Paisley club in 2014.

He later moved on to become academy boss at Orlando City and then New York Red Bulls before returning to the UK with Shrewsbury Town.

David Longwell (right) in his role as head of academy at St Mirren speaks with former Dundee manager Alex Rae in 2015. Image: SNS

Longwell then joined the Clarets last summer.

His opposite number at Dens Park is former Scotland international Stephen Wright.

Wright has headed up the Dark Blues’ academy since 2019 after leaving a youth role at Rangers.

One major link between the clubs when the news first emerged, meanwhile, was Charlie Adam.

Charlie Adam
Ex-Dundee skipper Charlie Adam recently left Burnley’s youth setup. Image: Shutterstock

A boyhood Dee who finished his playing career skippering the club, Adam was youth coach and loans manager at Turf Moor until late December.

As loans manager, Adam would have been a vital component in the partnership. However, he left Burnley to take on the manager’s role at Fleetwood Town at the turn of the year.

The Clarets are yet to announce his replacement.

Tony Docherty – Dundee manager

The man tasked with making the most of talented young loan players from Burnley will be Dens boss Tony Docherty.

The first on the books, Marcel Lewis, didn’t make a single appearance for the Dark Blues and returned south earlier in January.

Tony Docherty is delighted with Owen Beck's contribution since joining Dundee on loan from Liverpool. Image: SNS
Tony Docherty with Liverpool loanee Owen Beck. Image: SNS

However, Dara Costelloe made his debut on Saturday at Kilmarnock, followed by Owen Dodgson from the bench.

Michael Mellon could make up the maximum allowable trio of Burnley loanees at Dens if he arrives before the transfer window shuts.

Docherty has spoken this season about the benefits of the loan system for a club like Dundee.

Owen Beck’s impact in the first half of the campaign has shown that young players eager to earn first team experience can flourish in the environment created at Dens Park.

Burnley will be hoping to see more of that from their young prospects.

Dundee will certainly be keen to take advantage, with talented young players hopefully helping establish the Dee as Premiership regulars – then opening up new, loftier ambitions for the future.