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Mark Ogren: I can’t fund Dundee United forever but we WILL become self-sufficient

Mark Ogren at Tannadice on Friday
Mark Ogren at Tannadice on Friday

Mark Ogren admits he cannot continue to fund Dundee United indefinitely.

However, the Tangerines owner has expressed unshakable confidence that the club are on the road to self-sufficiency.

United posted operating losses of £2.27 million in their most recent accounts for the year ending June 2021, with the club’s wages-to-turnover ratio increasing from 120% to 132%.

Ogren readily admits the monetary challenges since he swept to power in 2018 have been sizeable — particularly due to the Covid pandemic.

It is understood he has spent in the region of £13 million.

Ogren’s continued support is essential to United remaining a going concern and, while as committed as ever to the project, the U.S. money-man is mindful of the end goal: to become self-sufficient.

Centre of attention: Ogren

“Will the club become self-sufficient? Yes, it has to because I am not willing to just continue feeding it,” explained Ogren. “I am having a lot of fun over here but, financially, that just doesn’t make sense.

“And I won’t have to — we had a plan going in and did our due diligence. We have a long-term plan.

“It has taken us a while to get there because of things out-with our control, but we are getting there. And we will get there.

‘We expect to make money this year’

Ogren has spent the last fortnight in Scotland and will be in attendance when United face Ross County in Dingwall on Saturday.

He has been buoyed by the Terrors’ European qualification; another source of revenue, particularly if they can make it a regular occurrence in the coming campaigns.

It should be noted that United’s most recent financial figures do not reflect the transfer fees banked for Lawrence Shankland and Kerr Smith. Players sales will continue to be a key part of the club’s business plan.

Lawrence Shankland playing for Beerschot.
Shankland joined Beerschot last year

“I have spent more money than I anticipated,” Ogren continued. “Some of it was unknown going in; some of it, we knew.

“Other things were completely out of our control, such as Covid. Who would have thought we’d go a whole season without fans coming to games? If you take the match-day revenue away, it’s disastrous.

“But I am really pleased with where we’re at now.

“We are going through our budgets and we expect to make money this year. We expect to make money in the future, too.”

Investment

And Ogren remains passionate about investing in projects which will pay dividends further down the line.

The support being given to the club’s academy structure and ongoing plans to upgrade the club’s Gussie Park training facility are case in point.

“We continue to invest in things within the club that may not automatically get a return — but will over time,” Ogren added.

“You can’t just invest in operations that lose that money. You have to invest in things that will help sustain the club long-term.”

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