Dundee United Football Club is a Scottish professional football club based in the city of Dundee. Formed in 1909, originally as Dundee Hibernian,[3] the club changed to the present name in 1923.[4] United are nicknamed The Terrors[5] or The Tangerines and the supporters are known as Arabs.[6]

The club has played in tangerine kits since the 1960s and have played at the present ground, Tannadice Park, since their foundation in 1909. United were founder members of the Scottish Premier League (SPL) in 1998 and were ever-present in the competition until it was abolished in 2013 to make way for the SPFL structure. United were relegated in 2016 to the Scottish Championship, which is the second tier of the SPFL.

Domestically, the club has won the Scottish Premier Division on one occasion (1982–83), the Scottish Cup twice (1994 and 2010) and the Scottish League Cup twice (1979 and 1980). United appeared in European competition for the first time in the 1966–67 season, going on to appear in Europe in 14 successive seasons from 1976. They also reached the European Cup semi-finals in 1983–84 season and the UEFA Cup final in 1987. The club has a 100% record in four matches against Barcelona in competitive European ties.

History

Beginning (1909–1971)

The club was formed as Dundee Hibernian in 1909, playing from the outset at Tannadice Park. They were voted into the Scottish Football League in 1910. After being saved from going out of business in October 1923, the club changed their name to Dundee United in order to widen their appeal. Between 1925 and 1932 United were promoted and then relegated three times, winning the Second Division title in 1925 and 1929.[7] The club achieved little other success until Jerry Kerr became manager in 1959. Kerr's team won promotion in his first season in charge and became established in the top flight, where they remained until 1995.[8] Kerr strengthened the playing squad with Scandinavian imports[8] and United qualified for European competition in 1966, going on to eliminate Inter-Cities Fairs Cup holders Barcelona on their European debut.

Jim McLean era (1971–1993)

Jim McLean took over from Kerr in 1971 and his youth policy led to the most successful era in the club's history. United won the Scottish League Cup in 1979 and 1980[9] and then the Premier Division title in 1982–83.

The club were also successful in Europe, reaching the European Cup semi-finals in 1984 and the 1987 UEFA Cup Final,[9] the latter featuring another elimination of Barcelona.[10] Despite losing to IFK Gothenburg in the final, the club won a FIFA Fair Play Award.[10] McLean retired as manager in 1993, but remained as club chairman.[13]

Since 1993

United won the Scottish Cup for the first time in 1994 under McLean's successor Ivan Golac, but were relegated in 1995, returning a year later. Eddie Thompson purchased the club from McLean in 2002 and invested heavily in the team, but with little progress made until Craig Levein became manager in 2006 and successfully restructured the youth system. Shortly after Levein's departure, the club won the Scottish Cup for a second time in 2010 under the management of Peter Houston. After several relatively successful seasons, a slump in form led to United being relegated in 2016.[14] The first attempt to return ended in defeat to Hamilton in the final round of promotion playoffs.[54]

Colours and badge

For a complete pictorial history of playing kit, see the .

United's playing kit consists of tangerine shirts and black shorts, first used when the team played under the Dallas Tornado moniker in the United Soccer Association competition of 1967, which they were invited to participate in after their first European excursion had created many headlines in the football world.[6] After persuasion by the wife of manager Jerry Kerr, the colour would soon be adopted as the club's own in 1969 to give the club a brighter, more modern image. The new colour was paraded for the first time in a pre-season friendly against Everton in August.

When founded as Dundee Hibernian, they had followed the example of other clubs of similar heritage by adopting the traditionally Irish colours of green shirts and white shorts. By the time the club became Dundee United in 1923, the colours had been changed to white shirts and black shorts as they sought to appeal to a wider cross-section of the community. These colours persisted in various forms up until 1969, sometimes using plain shirts, but also at various times including Celtic-style broad hoops, Queen's Park-style narrow hoops and an Airdrie-style "V" motif.

PeriodKit manufacturerShirt sponsor
1973–1976Buktanone
1976–1985Adidas
1985–1987VG
1987–1989Belhaven
1989–1991Asics
1991–1992Bukta
1992–1993Loki
1993–1994none
1994–1996PonyRover
1996–1998Telewest
1998–2000Olympic Sports
2000–2003TFG Sports
2003–2006Morning, Noon and Night
2006–2008HummelAnglian Home Improvements
2008–2009Carbrini Sportswear
2009–2010Nike
2010–2016Calor
2016–McEwan Fraser Legal

The present club badge was introduced in 1993, and saw the previous lion rampant design rebranded in a new circular logo incorporating the club colours.[16] To mark the club's centenary in 2009, a special version of the badge with an added "1909 2009 Centenary" logo was introduced for the duration of the 2009–10 season, along with additional green trim on the badge, representing Dundee Hibernian's colours.

Previously, the lion had been represented on a simpler shield design. Although this "classic" version had been used as the club crest on the cover of the matchday programme as early as 1956, it had never appeared on the players' strip prior to 1983. Since 1959, various other designs had been worn on the shirts, incorporating either the lion rampant or the letters DUFC, often on a circular badge.

The club first introduced shirt sponsorship in the 1985–86 season when future chairman Eddie Thompson's VG chain sponsored the club in the first of a two-year deal. A six-year association with Belhaven then ensued with a sponsorless 1993–94 season. Rover began a two-year deal early in time for the 1994 Scottish Cup final, sponsoring the club until the end of the 1995–96 season. Telewest took over sponsorship from 1996 for six years until Eddie Thompson's Morning, Noon and Night started sponsoring the club in 2002. This association continued until 2006 when Anglian Home Improvements began a two-year deal with an optional third year. At the same time, Ole International became the first shorts sponsors. JD Sports' Carbrini Sportswear brand sponsored the club in the 2008–09 and 2009–10 seasons. United's shirt sponsor since the 2010–11 season has been Calor Gas.

United have had a number of official kit suppliers, including Adidas, Hummel and, from June 2009, Nike.

Historical home kits

Image
Pre-1993 lion rampant design
c. 1909
c.1929–30
1986–87
1990–91
1993–94
1994–95
2006–07
2008–09
2009–10
2010–11
2011–12
2013–14
2014–15
2015–16

Alternative

1985–86
1989–91
1995–96
2002–03
2009–10
2013–14
2014–15

Stadium

Dundee United's home ground throughout their history has been Tannadice Park, located on Tannadice Street in the Clepington area of the city. It is situated a mere 170 yards (160 m) away from Dens Park, home of rivals Dundee;[17] The club has only ever played one home fixture at another venue. This was a League Cup tie against Rangers in March 1947, when despite snow rendering Tannadice Park unplayable, the match was able to go ahead across the road at Dens Park.

Tannadice is currently an all-seater with a capacity of 14,223.[2] The Main Stand, built in 1962, was the first cantilever to be constructed at a Scottish football ground. For long periods of its history, only a small proportion of the ground contained seated accommodation. In the late 1980s the ground had 2,252 seats out of a total capacity of 22,310.

The comparative age and proximity of their stadiums has led to various discussions about the possibility of both Dundee clubs moving to a new, purpose-built shared stadium. The most recent proposal was put forward as part of Scotland's bid to jointly host the UEFA Euro 2008 championship,[18] with several clubs seeking to benefit from a new stadium.[19] With planning permission given to a proposed site at Caird Park,[20] special dispensation was requested to proceed with the proposal,[21] as rules at the time forbade SPL teams from groundsharing. Following Scotland's failed bid to host the tournament, the scheme was shelved,[22] although it was resurrected in June 2008, following doubts about joint-host Ukraine's ability to stage Euro 2012, and the SFA's keenness to act as an alternative host.[23]

Achievements

League

Dundee United's first trophy came in 1925, when they won the 1924–25 Division Two championship. After two seasons in the top tier, they were relegated, but they won the Division Two title for a second time in 1928–29. Immediate relegation followed and the club finished runners-up in 1931–32.[7] Another runners-up spot was claimed in 1959–60, in manager Jerry Kerr's first season, and from then club remained in the top division for the next 35-years.[8] Under Jim McLean's management, the club won the Premier Division title for the only time, in 1982–83, resulting in European Cup football the following season. The title win was United's last league success, although they finished runners-up in the First Division in 1995–96, after nearly avoiding relegation the previous season, and in third place in their first season back in the Premier Division.

Cups

The club had to wait several decades before their first realistic chance at cup silverware, when they began the first of a six-game losing streak of Scottish Cup Final appearances in 1974, losing 3–0 to Celtic. Towards the end of the 1970s, things began to change, with three successive appearances in the League Cup Final. United won their first major trophy with a 3–0 replay victory over Aberdeen in the 1979–80 Scottish League Cup Final.[24] The club reached both cup finals in the following season; while they retained the League Cup by winning 3–0 against rivals Dundee,[24] United lost out again in the Scottish Cup with a replay defeat to Rangers. United reached a third consecutive League Cup Final in 1981–82, but failed to make it a hat-trick of wins as they lost 2–1 to Rangers.[24]

United suffered the agony of reaching three out of four Scottish Cup finals in the mid-1980s, only to lose them all by a single goal. First came a 2–1 defeat to Celtic in 1984–85, compounded by a 1–0 League Cup final loss to Rangers in the same season; then a 1–0 defeat in extra time to St Mirren in 1986–87; and finally, a last-minute 2–1 loss against Celtic the following year, despite being a goal ahead.[9] A three-year gap ensued before the 1990–91 Scottish Cup final, which pitted Jim McLean against his brother Tommy, at Motherwell. The final was won 4–3 by 'Well, with United again losing in extra time.[13] The sixth Cup Final loss was also the club's fifth final appearance in eleven years.

These defeats in cup finals at Hampden Park led to the Scottish football media claiming that United suffered from a Hampden hoodoo, as they had failed to win ten cup finals played at the ground between 1974 and 1991.[25] When the club reached the 1994 Scottish Cup Final, manager Ivan Golac dismissed talk of the hoodoo, even though opponents Rangers were strong favourites to complete a domestic treble in the 1993–94 season.[25] United broke the supposed hoodoo and won the Scottish Cup for the first time when Craig Brewster's goal gave them a 1–0 win.[13][25]

Eleven years passed until the next Scottish Cup final appearance, when United lost 1–0 to Celtic in 2005. Sandwiched in the middle of these appearances was a defeat on penalties to Stenhousemuir in the Scottish Challenge Cup (when United failed to concede a goal in the whole competition) and a 3–0 defeat to Celtic in the 1997 Scottish League Cup Final. United then lost the 2008 Scottish League Cup Final on penalties to Rangers after the match had finished 2–2 after extra time. Dundee United won their next major trophy in 2010, under the guidance of manager Peter Houston, when First Division side Ross County were defeated 3–0 in the 2010 Scottish Cup Final.[26] David Goodwillie scored the first goal and Craig Conway scored the second and third goals.[26]

United's 10th appearance in the Scottish Cup final came in 2014, but the team lost 2–0 to St Johnstone at Celtic Park. The Tangerines reached the League Cup final the following year, but lost to Celtic in the final.

Two years later, after the club's relegation from the Scottish Premiership, they faced St. Mirren in the 2017 Scottish Challenge Cup Final. United won the game 2–1, marking the clubs first silverware since 2010.

Europe

The club's first experience of Europe came in 1966–67 season when, helped by a clutch of Scandinavian players, United defeated Inter-Cities Fairs Cup holders FC Barcelona both home and away. Although Juventus proved too strong in the next round with a 3–1 aggregate victory, United made headlines and were asked to compete as Dallas Tornado in the United Soccer Association league in North America during the summer of 1967.[8]

In 1981–82 they began a period in which they were competitive in European competition. In a six-year spell they reached one UEFA final, another semi-final and two quarter finals. After their only Premier Division win in 1983, the team reached the resulting semi-final of the European Cup in 1984, losing 3–2 on aggregate to Roma. In 1987, the club went one better, reaching the final of the UEFA Cup. Despite the 2–1 aggregate loss to IFK Gothenburg, the club won the first-ever FIFA Fair Play Award for their supporters' sporting behavior after the final defeat.[10]

Rivalries

Dundee United's traditional rivals are Dundee, with whom they compete in the Dundee derby. The fixture was lacking a competitive element for a number of years until Dundee's return to the top flight of the Scottish game. A unique element of the rivalry lies in the fact that both clubs' stadiums are located within 100 yards of one another.

In spite of their rivalry, the two sides previously contemplated ground-sharing as part of the SFA's unsuccessful bid to host Euro 2008. Perhaps one of their most notable meetings was in the 1980 Scottish League Cup Final played at Dens Park when United won 3–0 to claim their second League Cup in successive seasons.

Another intense fixture is that of the New Firm derby between United and North-East rivals Aberdeen. The match itself became one of fierce competition due to the domestic and European success the two sides achieved in the late 1970s and 1980s under the stewardship of United's Jim McLean and Aberdeen's Alex Ferguson.

United also share a rivalry with St Johnstone due to the relatively close proximity of Dundee and Perth, known as the Tayside derby. The most notable meeting between the two sides was in the 2014 Scottish Cup Final, when St Johnstone won 2–0 at Celtic Park in United's tenth final appearance.

Honours

League

Cups

Europe

Other

Coaching staff

Position[29]Name
ManagerCsaba László
Assistant ManagerLaurie Ellis
Goalkeeping CoachStuart Garden
First Team CoachGrant Johnson
Head of Football OperationsDarren Taylor
Fitness CoachChristian Dailly
PhysiotherapistJeff Clarke
Kit CoordinatorIan McIntyre
Senior Academy ManagerBrian Grant
Development Squad Assistant ManagerDave Bowman

Current squad

First-team squad

As of 31 August 2017[59]

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

No.PositionPlayer
2DFStewart Murdoch
3DFTam Scobbie (captain)
4DFMark Durnan
5
Image
East Stand at Tannadice Park
DFPaul Quinn
6DFLewis Toshney
7
Image
United (in red) versus Kilmarnock at Tannadice in the 2013–14 Scottish Cup.
MFPaul McMullan
8FWScott McDonald
9
Image
Facade of the Jerry Kerr stand of Tannadice with Dens Park, home of neighbours Dundee in the distance
FWPatrick N'Koyi
10MFScott Fraser
11MFBilly King
12MFSam Stanton (on loan from Hibernian)
No.PositionPlayer
14DFWilliam Edjenguélé
16MFWillo Flood
17DFJamie Robson
18MFScott Allardice
19FWJames Keatings
20MFJordie Briels
21GKDeniz Mehmet
23MFFraser Fyvie
25GKHarry Lewis (on loan from Southampton)
28FWMatty Smith

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
13GKBrett Long (on loan at Cliftonville)
No.PositionPlayer
26DFCammy Ballantyne (on loan at Montrose)

Under-20 squad

As of 23 October 2017[4]

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

No.PositionPlayer
31MFGraham Taylor
33DFHarvey Dailly
34DFGavin Ritchie
35DFScott Reekie
36FWLouis Appéré
37MFDominic McMeekin
38FWLogan Chalmers
39DFJordan Hornby
No.PositionPlayer
40DFLuc Bollan
41GKJosh Donaldson
42DFJake Davidson
43MFDeclan Glass
44MFArchie Thomas
45MFKieran Inglis
46FWJoe Piggott

Noted players

International Players

This is a list of former and current players who have played at full international level while with the club. They are ordered by nationality and year of United debut below. Additionally, two goalkeepers – Pat Onstad (Canada) and Kémoko Camara (Guinea) – were both capped while at Tannadice yet never played a first-team game for United.

Hall of Fame

The club launched its official Hall of Fame in 2008, with seven inaugural members. A further six players were inducted in January 2009[4] and seven more in January 2010. Since then six players have been inducted each year.

Managers

The first manager of Dundee Hibernian in 1909 was Pat Reilly. The club's longest serving and most successful manager, Jim McLean, held the position from 1971 to 1993, winning three major honours – the Scottish Premier Division title in 1982–83 and the Scottish League Cup twice in 1979 and 1980. Two Dundee United managers have won the Scottish CupIvan Golac in 1994 and Peter Houston in 2010.

Women's team

Dundee United announced in April 2015 that the club would be launching a women's team, with the aim of entering the Scottish league structure in 2016.[4] Gavin Beith was appointed as the team's manager in June 2015.[4]