An American purchase of Dundee United is still on the cards, according to chairman Mike Martin.
The chance of the Tangerines falling into US hands appeared to have receded in the wake of the in-house sale of Stephen Thompson’s majority shareholding last month.
Martin, fellow director Jimmy Fyffe and two unnamed United-supporting business people paid what is understood to have been around £600,000 for Thompson’s 53% stake.
With that now off the table, it was expected that all talk of a takeover would stop. There was even a suggestion that the whole American interest never have existed.
However, Martin confirmed they are still talking and that he still expects a deal to done that could see him stay involved in an executive capacity and even part owner.
Martin said: “The long-term investors that we have been speaking to, we continue to speak to them.
“It is not dead.
“Can I guarantee it will happen? No. Do I expect it to happen? Yes.
“I still believe that we will put in place a different long-term ownership structure.
“It was originally anticipated that it would be done by now but there are very good reasons why it has taken a bit longer.
“These reasons are not related to Dundee United. They are related to other things that they (the potential investors) are involved in.
“What we did in the summer (buy Thompson’s majority shareholding) was really a stepping stone towards that.
“I can’t go into the details – as you would expect – regarding the deal but the idea is that we have somebody coming in to buy a controlling interest in the club.
“As for me, I hope my long-term future is here. In the discussions I have had thus far, there is a role for me in terms of ownership and in an executive capacity.
“So I would hope to continue to be involved but, ultimately, that is a decision for any long-term owner of the club.”
Martin then shone some light on the Thompson share purchase.
When you add the approximate 32% that Martin bought off Stephen’s sister Justine last year, that leaves the current chairman with half of the combined 85% Thompson family holding, with Fyffe and the other two owning the other half.
Therefore, the chairman is the largest shareholder but still falls short of overall control.
He confirmed: “The 85% that was previously in Thompson family hands is now split 50% me and 50% the other three.”