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Page last updated at 16:00 GMT, Thursday, 23 September 2010 17:00 UK

Dundee set no time frame on role of backer Melville

Calum Melville (right) in the Dens Park stand with Harry MacLean (left)
MacLean (left) says Melville's (right) position is up to the Dundee board

By Jim Spence and David McDaid

Dundee say they have set no time frame for when a decision must be reached on the role of director Calum Melville.

The Dens Park board met on Thursday, the second time they have done so since their financial backer offered his resignation as a director on Monday.

Melville, an Aberdeen businessman, has spent about £1.3m of his own money on the First Division outfit since becoming involved 18 months ago.

He has said he would remain if his fellow directors wished him to do so.

On Tuesday, the morning after an emergency board meeting in Dundee, chief executive Harry MacLean told BBC Scotland that the club was not trying to persuade Melville to withdraw his letter of resignation.

He said: "We have decisions to make on how we move forward, that's up to the board and Calum to work out between us.

So far this season Calum has supported us to bring in players. I wouldn't like to see him leave

Gordon Chisholm

"Calum is still committed to what he's pledged for the season and I don't think that will change either way.

"He contributes to helping us financially, but at the same time you don't want to be in a situation where one person contributes everything, so we're always looking for extra investment.

"Calum probably wants to see extra financial input from other people too.

"We're control finances tightly at the club, but we do rely on the input from Calum.

"If that's not there we have to look at the implications of that."

Dundee manager Gordon Chisholm, meanwhile, feels concern for the future of the club have been blown out of proportion.

"I think there's a wee bit of hysteria going on," said Chisholm.

"Harry's assured me that everything is fine with the players and their wages.

"Nobody likes that hanging over the club, but our priority is that the players stay focussed.

"So far this season Calum has supported us to bring in players. I wouldn't like to see him leave."

The news of Melville's intended resignation came on the day when former manager Jocky Scott and assistant Ray Farningham were due to take the club to an industrial tribunal.

But that case - the pair were claiming compensation from Dundee following their sacking - was postponed until January.

Representing the Dens Park club, solicitor Noele McClelland asked for the adjournment, with the former employees' solicitor, Douglas Japp, describing Melville's evidence as "crucial".

McClelland told judge Iain McFatridge: "Our first witness was due to be Calum Melville, director of the respondents, but he has tended his resignation to the board.

"He is unable to be here due to his own personal difficulties with his own employers, Cosalt, and could not devote any time to these proceedings.

"We are advised that he is just not physically and mentally capable of being here today.

Dundee last month announced that Bob Brannan was standing down as chairman but stressed that he would be continuing on the board.

And Melville publicly re-stated his financial commitment to the club.

We would love to have John on the board; it would mean the chairman would also be owner of the ground and that would be a good thing

Dundee spokesman

He said that, although it would not be on the same scale as the £1.3m he is said to have already invested in the club, he would continue to bankroll them for the next three to five years.

But, earlier this month, Melville, who was head of the offshore division of Cosalt, was suspended from his post while management carried out a review of working practices.

He also resigned as a director of the marine safety company, although it stressed in a statement that it did not believe there had been any illegal activity.

It appears that Melville does not believe he now has enough time to devote to the football club and their board will now want to investigate what that means for his promised future cash injection.

Meanwhile, former Dundee United director John Bennett, who owns Dens Park, has told BBC Scotland he is weighing up an offer to become Dundee's chairman.

The club owe Bennett £200,000 from a previous loan, which is due to be paid next month.

"I am due the money, but I would not press Dundee for it," he said. "I want to see the club doing well. I never gave them the money to make anything out of it."

A club spokesman said: "We would love to have John on the board. It would mean the chairman would also be owner of the ground and that would be a good thing."

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see also
Director suspended amid inquiry
06 Sep 10 |  North East, Orkney & Shetland
Melville continues Dundee backing
20 Aug 10 |  Dundee
Dundee fans voice financial fears
28 May 10 |  Dundee
Dundee urge the fans to dig deep
19 May 10 |  Dundee
Dundee threaten summer clear-out
22 Apr 10 |  Dundee
Melville eyes a debt-free Dundee
04 Jun 09 |  Dundee

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