Dundee Football Club is a professional football club based in the city of Dundee, Scotland. Founded in 1893, they are nicknamed "The Dark Blues" or "The Dee". The club plays its home matches at Dens Park.

The club's most successful era was in the 1960s when, under the management of Bob Shankly, Dundee won the Scottish Football League title in 1962 for the only time in their history before reaching the semi-finals of the 1962–63 European Cup. Dundee have also won the Scottish Cup once in 1910 and the Scottish League Cup three times.

History

Late 19th and early 20th century

Dundee F.C. was formed in 1893 by the merger of two local clubs, East End and Our Boys, with the intention of gaining election to the Scottish Football League (SFL). Their application was successful and they played their first League game on 12 August 1893 at West Craigie Park, securing a 3–3 draw against Rangers. Dundee struggled during the first 10 years of their existence. Their best league position was fifth which they achieved in seasons 1895–96 and 1896–97. They also reached the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup in 1894–95 and 1897–98, losing to Renton and Kilmarnock respectively. On 26 October 1895 Dundee lost a league game by a record score of 0–11 to Celtic in Glasgow. On 1 January 1894 Dundee defeated Newton Heath (the future Manchester United) 2–1 at their then Carolina Port ground in Dundee. Carolina Port also hosted the first international football match held in Dundee on 21 March 1896 when Scotland defeated Wales 4–0. Dundee's goalkeeper Frank Barrett, midfielder Sandy Keillor and inside-forward Bill Thomson were all capped for Scotland during this early period of the club's history. Things began to improve for Dundee with the beginning of the new century. In 1899 they moved from Carolina Port to their present ground of Dens Park. In season 1902–03 they finished runners-up in the league championship to Hibernian. (In season 1902–03 Dundee allowed 12 league goals against, which remains the fewest goals conceded by any British club in a full league season.)

Dundee were also league runners-up in 1906–07 and 1908–09 finishing behind Celtic on both occasions, in 1908–09 by just 1 point. In the 10 seasons from 1902–03 Dundee lost just 16 league games at Dens Park out of 154 played and were unbeaten at home during season 1909–10. Although ultimate success eluded Dundee in the league the club achieved success in the Scottish Cup. In season 1909–10 Dundee won their first trophy by defeating Clyde in the Scottish Cup Final. (Dundee took three games to beat Hibernian in the semi-final and then the same number to defeat Clyde.) The winning goal in the second replay was scored by John 'Sailor' Hunter. In season 1910–11 Dundee defeated Rangers 2–1 at Dens Park in the Scottish Cup quarter-final but lost to Hamilton in the semi-final. The beginning of the First World War and the call-up of many players for military duty drastically curtailed football in Britain from 1914 and in 1917 Dundee and Aberdeen were both asked to withdraw from the league due to increasing transport costs for the other league clubs. In 1919 league football recommenced and good home form once again propelled Dundee up the league. They finished 4th in seasons 1919–20, 1920–21 and 1921–22, and were unbeaten at home during season 1921–22. However, they could not make the breakthrough to win the league championship.

Dave Halliday had played on the left for his previous clubs, his hometown side Queen of the South and St Mirren. Halliday went then to Dundee in 1921 with the celebrated Alec Troup already playing on the left wing. Dundee thus converted Halliday to centre forward with prolific results, finishing as Scottish top scorer in the 1923–24 season with 38 goals from 36 appearances – a very good return in the era of the three-man off-side rule. With Halliday Dundee reached the 1924–25 Scottish Cup final eliminating the holders en route, the Airdrieonians side of Hughie Gallacher. Halliday scored 103 goals in 147 league and cup appearances for the Dee.

Mid 20th century

The post-Second World War period was a golden era for Dundee Football Club. Having been relegated on the eve of war, the Dark Blues started in 1946 in the first official season in the second tier but within five years they were runners-up in the Scottish League Championship and won their first trophy in forty-one years.

Back to back 'B’ Division titles earned George Anderson's Dundee promotion in 1947 and just two years later they were within a whisker of becoming Champions of Scotland. Silverware wasn't far away however as after spending a world record transfer fee of £23,500 on Billy Steel, much to the chagrin of modern-day supporters of the club – at least some anyway – who resent the aspect of finance in football and wish instead for 'homegrown' talent, they won the Scottish League Cup in 1951 in one of the most exciting finals Hampden has ever seen.

Twelve months later Dundee were back at Hampden to become the first side to retain the League Cup and in between these two victories appeared in the 1952 Scottish Cup Final. The Dark Blue side of the era included such as Bill Brown, Tommy Gallacher, Doug Cowie, Alfie Boyd, Bobby Flavell and Billy Steel.

In the 1958–59 Scottish Cup Dundee suffered a shock 1–0 defeat to Highland League side Fraserburgh. This is widely regarded as Dundee's most embarrassing defeat in their history.

1960s – Dundee's golden age

Bob Shankly (brother of Bill Shankly) was appointed manager in 1959. Dundee won the league title of Scotland's top division, then called the Division One, in the 1961–62 season. With players such as Bobby Cox, Bobby Wishart, Pat Liney (Goalkeeper), Alan Cousin, Andy Penman, Hugh Robertson, Alan Gilzean, Alex Hamilton, Bobby Seith, Gordon Smith and Ian Ure they clinched the title with a win against St Johnstone, which in turn relegated St Johnstone to the then Second Division. Gordon Smith earned the unique distinction of being the only player to win the Scottish football championship with three different clubs (Hibs, Hearts and Dundee), none of them either half of the traditionally dominant Old Firm.[3]

The following season the club reached the semi-finals of the European Cup beating 1. FC Köln, Sporting Clube de Portugal and R.S.C. Anderlecht, before losing to A.C. Milan. The Dee reached the Scottish Cup final again in the 1963–64 competition. Shankly moved on from Dundee in February 1965.[3]

The next manager after Shankly was former player Bobby Ancell from the 1947 B Division Championship side. Ancell took Dundee to a 1967–68 League Cup final against the previous season's European Cup winners, Celtic. Ancell's team scored three times at Hampden Park in Celtic's native Glasgow but still lost out 5–3. In the 1967–68 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup Dundee eliminated opposition from Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland to meet Leeds United in the semi-final. After a 1–1 draw at Dens, a 1–0 second leg win took Leeds through.[3]

Late 20th century

In 1973 under the management of David White and captaincy of Tommy Gemmell the League Cup returned to Dens following a 1–0 win against Celtic. This is to date the last occasion when one of Scotland's three major trophies went to Dens Park. Dundee lost in the 1980 Scottish League Cup Final to city rivals Dundee United with Billy Williamson playing in blue against his previous club.

21st century

In 2000 the club hit the headlines when they signed Argentine international Claudio Caniggia, who later signed for Rangers.[81] Caniggia was only one of many foreign signings in the Dundee side in the early 2000s, which also included former Newcastle United player Temuri Ketsbaia.[6] The signing of such high-profile players along with many others led Dundee to a Scottish Cup final and two top-six finishes. This was achieved under the managership of Ivano Bonetti, who also made a short but notable contribution on the park linking up well with the Caniggia. Attendances were still short of the hoped for numbers and with spending significantly outweighing income, Dundee were soon forced into administration.

Before Dundee went into financial trouble they knocked out Glasgow side Partick Thistle 2–0 away from home in the third round of the Scottish Cup. The fourth round saw Dundee knock out Aberdeen 2–0 at Dens Park. Dundee continued their march towards Hampden Park with a 1–1 draw away and a 4–1 extra time victory over Falkirk at Dens booked their place in the semi-finals playing Inverness CT at Hampden Park. The only goal of the game was by Georgi Nemsadze. This secured a 1–0 victory and a place in the Final against Rangers. In the final Barry Smith hit the post for Dundee but Lorenzo Amoruso scored to bring Dundee's cup run to an end.

In 2003, due to the club's failure to sell on players as anticipated, insufficient income was raised to fund the large wage bill, under owners Peter and James Marr, resulting in a £23m debt, they were forced to go into administration with many players such as Fabian Caballero, Craig Burley and Georgian captain Giorgi Nemsadze leaving the club in 2005. Despite this huge debt, Dundee survived by selling their stadium in 2003. But the club was then relegated to the second tier of the Scottish leagues, where they remained until July 2012. In mid-2006, it was announced that financial restructuring would see the club become debt-free.

In 2007, James and Peter Marr severed some of their ties with Dundee, stepping down as chairman and Chief Executive respectively, when their company P&J Taverns was forced into administration. Bob Brannan and Dave MacKinnon took the Marrs' place.

In 2008, after a poor run in the league, manager Alex Rae was sacked, with former manager Jocky Scott taking over for his third stint with the club.[7]

Image
Chart of yearly table positions of Dundee in the Scottish League.

In the 2009/10 season Dundee director Calum Melville was in trouble for claiming he was going to offer rivals Dundee United F.C. £500,000 for ex-Dundee midfielder Scott Robertson.[82] Dundee won the Challenge Cup Final when they beat Inverness Caledonian Thistle 3–2.[9]

In March 2010, Scott was sacked as manager after a 3–0 defeat at the hands of Airdrie United.[10] He was replaced by Gordon Chisholm, with Billy Dodds as his assistant.

In September 2010, Dundee was again on the brink of going into administration due to a £365,000 unpaid tax bill. During negotiations with HM Revenue & Customs, the club's offer to pay £100,000 immediately was rejected.[11] On 14 September it was announced that the club would be going into administration.[3] As punishment for entering administration the Scottish Football League docked Dundee 25 points on 1 November 2010. At the time the punishment was imposed, this left Dundee bottom of the First Division table with −11 points, 20 points behind the second-bottom team. Dundee later appealed their punishment and are to hear the outcome before Christmas 2010. On 10 December 2010 the Dark Blues Business Trust was set up by former Dundee owner Peter Marr to help the club recover from their financial situation. On 17 December 2010 Dundee's appeal was rejected which resulted in Dundee appealing the punishment to the SFA, who also rejected it. Dundee went on a 23 match undefeated streak in the first division beating the previous record set by the team.

On 12 May 2011, Dundee FC exited administration. The club's supporters' trust, Dundee FC Supporters' Society Ltd., became the majority shareholder.[13]

On 6 November 2011, it was announced Harry MacLean had resigned from his position as Chief Executive and would work a months notice.[14] MacLean, who had played a key role in saving the club during administration,[14] accepted an invitation to re-join the club in a non-executive role before departing his position as Chief Executive.[15] His resignation was followed just eleven days later by Stuart Murphy's decision to step down as club chairman and Director of the Club which was effective immediately.[16] On 27 December 2011, Harry MacLean resigned from his non-executive role[17] causing questions to arise about the stability of the boardroom. Shortly after the gap left by MacLean was filled in by present chief executive officer Scot Gardiner.[18]

On 16 July 2012, Dundee were invited to join the Scottish Premier League to replace Rangers after their liquidation, reformation and later re-admittance to the fourth tier of Scottish football.[19]

Since the second period of administration, Dundee, along with their Supporters' Society implemented regular KPI targets. These targets were set to ensure in some part, that the failures that lead to administration and indeed, several decades of financial turmoil, could not be repeated. Dundee were left after the second administration with only footballing debt and no borrowing capability. Since exiting administration, the club has focussed on honouring the footballing debt, whilst keeping lower football wages and stadium bills, according to the income generated.

After an unsuccessful season in the Premier League, when they were asked to replace Rangers, Dundee were again relegated after finishing bottom, despite vastly improved form after John Brown replaced Barry Smith as manager toward the end of the season. The following season (2013–2014) Dundee would take part in the Scottish Championship (formerly the First Division) after reforms were made to the Scottish League system.

Throughout the summer leading up to the start of the 2013–2014 season talks were held regarding a possible Texan based takeover with investments to be made of up to £650,000. The takeover was completed and former Director Bill Colvin was appointed as chairman to oversee this new board of which main investor John Nelms joined. The 2013–2014 season proved to be one to remember with Dundee clinching the title and promotion to the top tier on the last day of the season with a 2–1 win over Dumbarton. After a heavy defeat to Falkirk and a draw against Alloa, manager John Brown was replaced by Paul Hartley. A 3–0 win at Alloa for The Dark Blues and a 4–1 loss to Dumbarton for Hamilton Academical meant that Dundee were in the driving seat when it came to the finale. Dens Park was sold out for the game against Dumbarton F.C. when Christian Nade headed in the opening goal. Soon after, Peter MacDonald scored the second goal. The away side pulled a goal back in the second half and Hamilton managed to close the goal difference with a 10–2 victory over Morton. But Dundee got the three points, and clinched promotion to the Scottish Premiership.

Return to the Premiership

Paul Hartley was quick in the transfer window for the following season, bringing in no fewer than twelve new players, to rebuild the squad for top-flight football, having already signed Greg Stewart on a pre-contract from Cowdenbeath and Philip Roberts who joined before the end of May. Released Hibernian players James McPake and Kevin Thomson were next to join, along with Alloa goalkeeper Scott Bain. Thomson was made Captain after signing. Simon Ferry, released from Portsmouth then returned to his hometown to play for Dundee. Paul McGowan and Paul McGinn arrived from St Mirren and Dumbarton respectfully, then attacking midfielder Gary Harkins signed for his third spell at the club on the last day of June, after also being released from St Mirren. With a number of first team players departing namely Christian Nade and Ryan Conroy who both went on to join Raith Rovers, Gavin Rae who retired from playing and player-coach Matt Lockwood.

On the opening day of the 2014–15 season, Dundee recorded a 1–1 draw against Kilmarnock at home, Gary Harkins put Dundee ahead from the spot after Kilmarnock conceded a penalty, with Craig Slater equalising for the visitors from a well struck free-kick on the edge of the Dundee area. Dundee won their first game of the 2014–15 season on 23 August with a 1–0 win over St Mirren away from home, a 79th-minute goal from Peter MacDonald securing the win, making them unbeaten in their first four league games of the season. Dundee also started the League Cup well with two 4–0 wins on the bounce over Peterhead and Raith Rovers.

Dundee managed to gain a top six place by mid-April thus securing their position in the Premiership for 2015–16 campaign. They secured the place for definite after Kilmarnock were defeated 2–1 by Aberdeen on 12 April and a Dundee Derby Victory on 8 April in a 3–1 Win at Home to Dundee United.[83] Dundee failed to record a win in their top six campaign only managing to draw with Aberdeen 1–1 at Dens Park. Dundee lost to St Johnstone 2–1,[84] Celtic 5–0,[85] Inverness 1–0[86] and Dundee United 3–0.[24]

At the end of the 2014–15 season, in June, Dundee chairman Bill Colvin stepped down as chairman and sold his share in Dundee to then director, Tim Keyes who became the new chairman of the club.

Stadium

Since 1899, Dundee have played their home matches at Dens Park which has a capacity of 11,506. Uniquely, the stadium shares part of the same road (Sandeman Street) as Tannadice Park, which is the home of city rivals Dundee United F.C.

In 2002, plans were drawn up for a new stadium to be built in the city as part of Scotland's bid to host the 2008 European Football Championship. This stadium would have been shared by Dundee and near-neighbours Dundee United, which would have required the two to leave their historic grounds at Dens Park and Tannadice Stadium respectively. However, when Ukraine & Poland were selected to co-host the event, the plans were shelved for the immediate future.

In May 2009, it was reported that the stadium is owned by local businessman John Bennett who, despite having invested heavily in Dundee, has rejoined the Dundee United board, where he had previously been a director until September 2008.

In October 2014, Dundee Supporter's Society announced they have put forward plans to then club Chairman, Bill Colvin which may allow the club to buy back the stadium from current owner John Bennett. They also expressed this was not a plan to enable the Supporter's Society to own the Stadium but for the club themselves, and that they will "simply administer the scheme".[26]

In April 2015, Colvin announced that negotiations were taking place to buy back the Stadium from current owner John Bennett and his company Sandeman Holdings.[87]

In August 2016, US Owners Keyes and Nelms were reported to have bought land in the Camperdown area of Dundee, next to the city's Ice Arena.[88] It was then made clear in February 2017 that the plan for this land was to develop a new stadium for the club due to the increasing maintenance costs of Dens Park, although plans for a move were described by Nelms as being "early doors" in a video interview published on the clubs website.[89]

Club staff

Corporate board

PositionName
ChairmanTim Keyes
Financial DirectorIan Crighton
Managing DirectorJohn Nelms
Commercial DirectorSteve Martin
Club SecretaryEric Drysdale
DirectorR W Hynd
DirectorB Lawrence
Honorary Life PresidentPat Liney

Management & Staff

PositionName
ManagerNeil McCann
Assistant ManagerGraham Gartland
Head of Youth DevelopmentJimmy Boyle
Goalkeeping CoachBobby Geddes
PhysiotherapistGerry Docherty
Fitness CoachBlair Doughty
Club DoctorDr. Angela Duncan
Kit CoordinatorLorraine Noble
Head GroundsmanBrian Robertson

Players

First-team squad

As of 14 November 2017

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No.PositionPlayer
1
Image
Logo used from 1987–2008[4]
GKScott Bain
2
Image
The Bob Shankly Stand of Dens Park
DFCammy Kerr (vice captain)
3DFKevin Holt
4MFJames Vincent
5DFJames McPake
6DFDarren O'Dea (club captain)
7FWAJ Leitch-Smith (on loan from Shrewsbury Town)
8MFGlen Kamara
9FWSofien Moussa
10MFScott Allan (on loan from Celtic)
12GKElliot Parish
14MFMark O'Hara
15DFJon Aurtenetxe
No.PositionPlayer
16DFJulen Etxabeguren
18MFPaul McGowan
20FWFaissal El Bakhtaoui
21MFRoarie Deacon
22DFJack Hendry
23MFRandy Wolters
24DFJosh Meekings
26DFKostadin Gadzhalov
27MFJesse Curran
28MFLewis Spence
29FWMarcus Haber
33FWCraig Wighton
34DFKerr Waddell

Out on loan

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No.PositionPlayer
36GKKyle Gourlay (on loan at Airdrieonians)
DFJordan Piggott (on loan at East Fife)
DFConor Quigley (on loan at Forfar Athletic)
No.PositionPlayer
MFNicky Low (on loan at Derry City)
MFIan Smith (on loan at Edinburgh City)

International players

A list of former and current players who have played at full international level while with the club are ordered by nationality and year of their debut below.
For a full list of former/current players with articles, see Category:Dundee F.C. players.

Hall of Fame

Bobby Geddes was inducted into the Hall of Fame plus also awarded a 'Special Recognition Award'.

Note: Year is year inducted into Hall of Fame

Managerial History

[81]
NamePeriod
Willie Wallace1899–1919
Sandy MacFarlane1919–1925
Alec McNair1925–1927
Jimmy Bissett1927–1933
Billy McCandless1933–1937
Andy Cunningham1937–1940
George Anderson1944–1954
Willie Thornton1954–1959
Bob Shankly1959–1965
Bobby Ancell1965–1968
 
NamePeriod
John Prentice1968–1972
David White1972–1977
Tommy Gemmell1977–1980
Don Mackay1980–1984
Archie Knox1984–1986
Jocky Scott1986–1988
1998–2000
2008–2010
Dave Smith1988–1989
Gordon Wallace1989–1991
 
NamePeriod
Iain Munro1991–1992
Simon Stainrod1992–1993
Jim Duffy1993–1996
2002–2005
John McCormack1997–1998
Ivano Bonetti2000–2002
Alan Kernaghan2005–2006
Alex Rae2006–2008
Gordon Chisholm2010
Barry Smith2010–2013
 
NamePeriod
John Brown2013–2014
Paul Hartley2014–2017
Neil McCann2017–Present

Player and Young Player of the Year Awards

Andrew De Vries Player of the Year

Isobel Sneddon Young Player of the Year

Records

Honours

Kit sponsors and manufacturers

YearKit manufacturerPrimary shirt sponsorSecondary shirt sponsorShorts Sponsor
1976–1980Admiral[4]nonenonenone
1980–1987Umbro[4]
1987–1989Matchwinner[4]Novafone Cellular[4]
1989–1990Novafone
1990–1992Kelly's Copiers[4]
1992–1993Asics[4]none
1993–1994Sports Division[4]
1994–1996Matchwinner[4]Auto Windscreens[4]
1996–1998Avec[4]Firkin Brewery[4]
1998–1999Scottish Hydro Electric[4]
1999–2002Xara[4]Ceramic Tile Warehouse[4]
2002–2003360[4]Jsearch.co.uk[4]
2003–2005Xara[4]Magners[4]
2005–2006The Forfar Roof Truss Company[4]
2006–2008Bukta[4]Signatures4U[4]
2008–2009Bukta[4]Scott Fyffe Motors [71]
2009–2010Viga[4]
2010–2011Puma[4]Kilmac Energy[4]Énergie Fitness[6] [6]
2011–2013none
2014–2015Hangar Records[6]Crown Engineering[71]
2015–2016Kilmac Energy[71]
2016–McEwan Fraser Legal[71]