A Dundee United ‘Revolution’?

Hello all and a very Happy New Year! Hopefully everyone enjoyed their festive celebrations and fingers crossed that we all have a successful 2019!

I thought we might kick off this year with a post about the future of United under our new consultancy/operational company ‘Revolution Sports‘. Little is known about the exact role they have to play in the future of Dundee United but they helped broker the deal to buy the club and they have been charged with changing the club’s fortunes.

With the new Chairman and his son not actually playing a daily ‘hands on’ role at the club it will be left to the remaining board members to work with Revolution and invoke the changes that need to be made in order to turn United around.

Currently Jimmy Fyffe and David Forward remain from the old regime but the indications are that Revolution will be handling much of the business moving forward. This will come in the shape of transfer negotiations, scouting, operational changes and, as has been reported this morning, the appointment of a new ‘Sporting Director’. The man linked with that role is former agent Tony Asghar. He looks set to arrive at Tannadice with the remit of improving our football decision making off the pitch (something that got us into this mess in the first place).

Tony Asghar (left)

Realistically we have been on a steady (and then sharp) decline structurally ever since Craig Levein left the club. During his time at Tannadice he was very the ‘Director of Football’ we needed and it was his sensible and forthright approach that allowed us to re-shape everything from our recruitment to our youth setup. Alongside Levein we had people like Peter Houston, Ian Cathro and Stevie Campbell. It was at this time that United really started to make real progress but that good work was destroyed once we appointed Jackie McNamara and we gave him the same operational control that Levein once had.

Despite early on-field success under McNamara it was clear that he lacked the experience and decision making skills to keep the club on the straight and narrow. It was during this time that Stephen Thompson just left McNamara to it and we have suffered ever since.

The club desperately needs people with the skills to improve every aspect of the business from a footballing perspective. We have very little in the way of experience at the club and the area in particular that has highlighted this has been our recruitment of players.

That brings us on to Revolution Sports and the role they might play moving forward…

Who Are They?

They are a British based firm that have, according to their website, “operated in the football industry for over 20 years”. Although they may have previously worked in a slightly different way it seems like in 2015 that they made a change and started to look at a consultancy based model.

“Our key vision is “to create optimum performance” and this is our core value when carrying out any activity within an elite sporting organisation.”

One key focus of what they seem to be about is what they call their ‘Collective’. This is a group of people from various backgrounds who all have different skills and contacts. Currently the ‘Collective’ includes Tony Asghar (‘Sports Executive), Keith Wyness (Managing Director’), Edward Pergjini (Investment Analyst), Derek Bond (Chartered Accountant), Steve Round (Sports Coach/Sports Executive), Ryland Morgans (Sports Science), John Park (Recruitment), James de Mountfort (Performance and Ethos), Guy Richardson (Leadership and Performance) and Helen Parker (Marketing and Commercial).

The list above is impressive and if you are a keen football fan then one or two of those names might sound familiar. It is however unclear who will actually be working with United and in what capacity. It will probably be a combination of a few of them at different times but it isn’t certain who will have a ‘permanent’ role at the club and who will act as a consultant on an ad hoc basis.

What Do They Actually Do?

As I have just touched on they are effectively a consultancy company who use the areas of expertise they have to come and work for various clubs and organisations. They will troubleshoot and identify areas for improvement and then act accordingly. Since they were involved in the Ogren takeover it has become obvious as we find out more that they will be working heavily at Tannadice and that the work they do has probably started.

They of course get something out of this and that will more than likely come in form of fees and commission. We have no idea the amounts involved and what kind of payments will be made but they will undoubtedly be rewarded for promotion to the Premiership and possibly a fee within any prize money received, TV revenue and/or future transfer income. That of course is speculation on my part but they will have to be paid somehow…

It is all very different from what we are used to but the reality is that United are a business and as such it is common practice for businesses to use agencies to help them develop and succeed.

Will It Work?

This of course is something we cannot predict but one thing that we will have is a wealth of experience involved in the crucial decisions this club has to make in the near future. It might work, it might not, but the change in direction needs to be viewed as a positive for the time being view the awful decisions made in the recent past. Of course the only measure of success will be three points on the park every week and, eventually, winning promotion back to the Premiership

Some might argue that we have relied for too long on the traditional way of running a club and maybe now is the time to take things in a different direction.

Will this be a Dundee United ‘Revolution’? We can only wait and see…