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Last Updated: Thursday, 7 August, 2003, 17:44 GMT 18:44 UK
Di Stefano on board at Dens
Giovanni di Stefano arrives at Dens Park
Dundee have officially unveiled high-profile lawyer Giovanni di Stefano as a new Dens Park director.

The Tayside club have also written to the Scottish Football Association and the Bank of Scotland Premier League to confirm the appointment.

The Anglo-Italian hit the headlines in 1999 with a move to buy the Dark Blues, but his bid floundered amid a rash of bad publicity.

Di Stefano was prepared to defend the Serbian paramilitary chief Arkan against his indictment for war crimes before the warlord was assassinated in January 2000.

Arkan and Di Stefano co-owned the club Obilic, but the Northampton-based lawyer has since disposed of his interest in the 1997 Yugoslav champions.

Di Stefano, who is currently representing serial killer Harold Shipman, hopes to use his contacts in European football at Dens Park and has been tempted to invest some of his vast fortune in the club, although he would not reveal any figures.

In two years from now there will be a new stand to replace the south stand.
Giovanni di Stefano
"The investment I've made is a private thing, but I have a policy when investing in sport and that is not to invest what I can't afford to lose," said Di Stefano.

"You just have to look at the place to know there is enormous potential and, hopefully, we can realise some of it."

Di Stefano's interest in Dundee was fostered after his son, Milan, became a supporter of the club during a spell at Gordonstoun - the same Scottish public school attended by the Prince of Wales.

Di Stefano has promised to renovate the dilapidated South Stand and turn it into a 'community project' within two years.

The stand, which still houses the home fans on benches, will be knocked down and replaced as a matter of priority and the new director revealed that he will personally stand as guarantor for the project.

He said: "In two years from now if you come back and speak to me there will be a new stand to replace the south stand.

"It is a matter of priority for me and I've already talked to the other directors about it and we want to make it a real community project.

"If I have to stand as guarantor for the project myself I'm happy to do that."


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