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Page last updated at 16:37 GMT, Friday, 26 June 2009 17:37 UK

Melville outlines Dundee ambition


Dundee director Calum Melville insists regularly finishing in the Scottish Premier League's top six is a realistic target for the Dens Park club.

Melville's investment has helped Dundee bolster their squad for the new season and hopes it will help the club win promotion from the First Division.

"In my view, we're the biggest club in Dundee, " he told BBC Scotland.

"If we get promoted and sustain our place in the SPL, we think we'd be the sixth-best supported club in the SPL."

He added: "With not having any debt, we should expect to have a squad or build a squad that can get top-six football regularly and challenge properly in the cups and win a few cups.

"Dundee are spending a fifth season in the First Division, which from our point of view is totally unacceptable. That is the bottom line.

"The First Division is a difficult league to get out of. We think we've brought in enough good players, particularly up front, that will provide us with enough goals to get promoted.

For me this is very much a 3-5 year plan. Anything I do in business is 3-5 years. It would be wrong of me to say I'm going to commit beyond that

Calum Melville

"Dundee has to be self-sustaining. They've been through a couple of cycles where it wasn't self-sustaining and it almost disappeared. Everything we do has to lead us to a point where we're self-sustaining. It's folly otherwise.

"And, most importantly, there needs to be a club here for this generation, for the next generation and for the generation after. We'll never compete with Celtic and Rangers, so why bother trying?

"Dundee United unquestionably over the last 20 years have had more success, so there's been a younger generation that have grown up supporting United rather than Dundee.

"If we become more successful, we can begin to get some of the younger generation through but also some of the older generation that have maybe thrown in the towel a bit and thought, 'enough's enough, I can't be bothered going back'."

Melville has been trying to negotiate a deal to bring Dens Park back under Dundee's ownership, with the stadium currently owned by John Bennett, who is about to rejoin the board at rivals United.

"From my point of view, the deal's still very much alive," said Melville.

"Lawyers have been in discussion this week, there's been paperwork passed back and forward, but it's not for me to speak for John Bennett and I haven't been led to believe in any way that the deal was off the table and I don't think it is.

"I expect it would be complete over the next few weeks."

Born in Gourock and raised in Aberdeen, Melville aims to adopt the same approach to football that he has used throughout his career.

"I love football, I liked the idea of being involved in football," he said.

"Dundee, for me, is very much a proper football club. It's only an hour away from my house. I didn't particularly want to do something in my own home city in Aberdeen, so Dundee was the ideal fit for me.

"I'm not promising anything and I'm not saying I'm going to deliver anything. I've joined the board, which I think is a very good board.

"The board was already very strong. I'm just hoping to add to that. There's no point in making promises in life that you might not be able to fulfil.

"For me, this is very much a 3-5 year plan. Anything I do in business is 3-5 years. It would be wrong of me to say I'm going to commit beyond that."

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see also
Dens signing Griffiths eyes title
26 Jun 09 |  Dundee
Casement signs on at Dens Park
22 Jun 09 |  Dundee
Striker Clarke moves on to Dundee
15 Jun 09 |  Dundee
Melville eyes a debt-free Dundee
04 Jun 09 |  Dundee
Melville pledges Dens player fund
25 May 09 |  Dundee
United fan buys Dundee's stadium
24 May 09 |  Dundee

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