Dundee FC Online caught up with CEO Scot Gardiner and he expressed his delight, in particular for the fans, at Monday's invitation for the club from the SPL.
"It was great news for the club, great news for the players and most importantly great news for the fans."
"They've had seven years of backing their team through thick and thin in the first division - some pretty thin times and some pretty hairy experiences - one of the first things we all thought about here was this is amazing for the fans, that's absolutely genuine - it's what they deserve.
"Towards the end of April we had set a budget for the coming season, that is a budget that covers the business side of the club and a budget that covered how much we could use on the playing side.
"The football side of it was basically brought to a halt, we'd gone out and signed the targets that we had identified but still had three or four we were hoping to bring in, but when it became apparent that the Rangers thing was unfolding as it was, and in our minds we were pretty confident that it was going to be us that were going up, we stopped everything dead.
"Although we were saying that we were trying very hard to just focus on Division One, it would have been wrong of us on behalf of the club to continue signing players we had targeted to help win us the First Division if in fact we were to be going into the SPL.
"At that stage the Board of Directors and myself started work on the potential of a second budget, certainly the business side, there was great uncertainty with the potential of a second budget because so much of it would have been related to the SKY/ESPN scenario.
"Barry (Smith) and I had long discussions and we started to draw up a list of potential targets, we did what we could on the business side but we could really only guess and talk about what the crowds would be and what our potential costs would be should we obviously have to have extra policing etc. in relation to the matches themselves.
"So we did what we could, a sort of skeleton budget which was running alongside the existing budget - The most important part of that is that none of it was related to any media deal because that's not crucial to us, we'd signed players and were within budget - we had enough that we were going to add two, three maybe four players to help us win the First Division and we're not reliant on money from the media.
"I think it's pretty much recognised that you can't run with a First Division size squad in the SPL, the rigours are greater and the games are played at a greater pace. Barry and myself have had long discussions for weeks now on what our requirements would be, so we know what the requirements are and we will definitely be adding to the squad, the rigours of the SPL are completely different to the SFL and we will be adding players, there's no set number to that, we have targets, but in addition only this morning I've had six different agents contact me after they saw Dundee were in the SPL. We won't rush into anything, there's a lot of possibilities, but there's no rush for us - although the season looms large we can't afford to make many mistakes, so we'll hopefully make sure that we get the right people.
NOT MUCH TIME
"It's probably quite shocking how little time we've got to prepare, but being fair once things had spiralled the way they did, with three constitutions, all of which held different lead times for meetings, there's probably not a lot they could do to speed it up, It's put us in a real jam as regards time to prepare, that's not crocodile tears because I'd rather be in that that jam than not, but it's extremely difficult for Barry and the coaching staff to have a team gelled for the start of the league season.
"For a start the SPL season starts a week earlier than the SFL, SPL sides started pre-season around ten days ahead of our players, everything that we had planned for pre-season, our schedule was for us to peak on the 11th of August and now it's going to be a week before that - but I'm loathe to criticise because I think once it spiralled out of control I don't think there was very much anyone could do to get a grip of it with three governing bodies and three different constitutions."
HOW WILL WE DO IN THE SPL
"We're quietly confident that we'll do well in the SPL, if you look at the games we've played previously against top division clubs we've generally done OK, if we make the right signings and the boys adapt the way the manager thinks they'll will.
"Jinky's back (Ray Farningham) that will help, he's got great experience. Right now and as we stand, it would be a stretch to do well in the SPL purely because of the size of the squad, but if we do the right things and act wisely we'll be OK. I guarantee one thing we're not going up targeting just eleventh place. Even prior to getting the news Barry and I had talked about if we go up, did we think we could compete with a lot of teams in the Premier League and we were not pessimistic about it. So if we make the right decisions in the coming weeks and months, I don't see why we can't have a exciting season."
We asked Scot about the last minute application for a place in the SPL which was submitted with less than an hour to spare "It was last minute, what happened that particular week was that the Rangers situation was becoming bleaker, sadly for them, and we knew that if we were going to apply that it had to be in by the 31st of March" he said "It was expensive and there was a huge amount of work to be done to do that. We had a dilemma on that as we were around 12 points behind County, who also had about four games in hand at that stage, so it looked highly unlikely and the wording of the application was that it was to be a candidate club, which meant the team that would be champions.
"I tried every day that week to speak to someone at the SPL and I couldn't get a definitive answer, I asked what are the guidelines, what happens if the doomsday scenario happens for Rangers."
"I asked if I don't put this application in then will I have an opportunity to apply further down the line and the last line we got which was on the morning of the 31st was that there are no guidelines, it's up to you whether you put it in.
"In fairness to the SPL there weren't any guidelines, they weren't stonewalling me, it was an extremely complex situation which nobody had encountered in relation to that candidate application. Jim Thomson and myself were running around on the 31st getting one last piece of information which had to be slotted in, the document is about the size of the bible.
"Once completed, we knew we had to get it to Hampden for 5pm and Barry (Smith) said Graham Bayne could take it, we told him 'This is absolutely crucial, don't go for lunch, don't leave it in the car and forget it - because if it's not in by five o'clock that's it' - he got it in between four and five and let us know it was there.
"It was probably one of the most valuable things a player could ever do for us in hindsight, because it turned out later that we were told only the clubs who fully complied by the 31st of March were valid candidates so Falkirk, Ross County and Dunfermline as well as us were the only clubs who could have been entertained for that 12th share."
THE SPL SITUATION
From the beginning of this process where all the signs started to point to an unravelling of the Rangers situation we were confident, having interpreted the rules, that Dunfermline couldn't be reinstated once they had been relegated. I was personally confident on this matter and explained to the board that once we had taken legal advice on what the rules were, our position was very strong.
We were also aware that it was an extremely delicate situation for the game in that it was effectively the financial breakdown of a fellow member of the SFA, we have had two very difficult and damaging financial breakdowns in recent history ourselves so we were loathe to comment on how anyone could get themselves into that situation.
Accordingly we decided that the best thing to do was to behave in a professional manner with respect for the governing bodies, respect for the team who were having the major financial problems and respect for anyone who wanted to voice their opinions. So we didn't comment on what anyone said, whether they were arguing for a certain position or against it.
We certainly steered clear of the SPL situation because we weren't in the SPL we were in the SFL. So while the SPL chairmen were going through the maelstrom of the issues which were being thrown up we felt that it was not our place to comment on that, that we should keep doing what we were doing, which was planning to win the First Division and working away on signing the players who we felt were crucial to our future in that they would help us get out of the First Division, that was our focus and we tried really hard not to get dragged into anything.
As things unfolded and it became clear that there would be a vote on whether the SFL would allow Rangers to become a member of the League, we were told by the SFL that we were conflicted, there were three different votes due to take place in order to resolve matters and to see Rangers into the SFL. One was to vote them into the league, one to vote them into the first division and one to vote them into the third division and by any standards on all three of those votes we were technically conflicted. Airdrie and Stranraer were only conflicted on two of them but we were given advice by the governing body at Hampden on July 3rd that we were conflicted on all three.
I also felt that if we now took part we could be held up as some sort of pariah, who voted our own way into the SPL. I didn't want to put the club's reputation at stake but it was taken out of our hands as the governing body told us we couldn't vote and that was the case until nine minutes to five on the night before the next vote on the 13th July. That's when the "no conflict" email was sent to us by the SFL, although I didn't pick it up till later that evening.
That caused some consternation as we hadn't been able to meet as a board to discuss the resolutions as we weren't going to be allowed to vote on them, therefore there had been no reason to have a board meeting to discuss something we weren't voting on.
However, after long correspondences late into the night and talks with our lawyers and the SFL's lawyers next morning the conclusion was that we would have to take part on Friday - despite not having time to speak to all of the board. That was potentially a legal issue for us because as directors you have fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of the company, the football club being the company, you have to get a majority of the directors and it caused us an issue. Without going into the whole debate and all of the minutiae of the meeting itself at the moment, we voted that yes, Rangers should be admitted into Division 3.
Going forward to Monday, just after noon, I received a call from Ian Blair telling me that we had been nominated to be the invitee into the SPL and he asked if we would accept that invitation - I verbally accepted immediately. We now have a formal meeting with the SPL on Thursday and there are a number of things that need to take place before we can be fully ratified as the twelfth shareholder of the SPL.
What I said at the very beginning of this process, and I've said a couple of times in the press and even on twitter, is that we will make a full statement explaining to the fans how this whole process has gone once everything is concluded and we are officially the twelfth shareholder and a full member of the SPL, but I can assure everyone that we have behaved entirely appropriately and in a manner that is befitting this great club. At the Friday 13th SFL meeting at Hampden, David Longmuir made a point of order saying that Dundee Football Club had behaved impeccably at all times in this process.
Throughout the process we've said that at the end of it we'd come out and say here's what we did, but there is nothing at all for anyone to be concerned about, we voted appropriately and I am proud of how our board and manager behaved throughout and similarly how the chairman of the DFCSS behaved because all of us were under a colossal amount of pressure from all sides of the media and other fronts. There were all sorts of dynamics going on but we were anchored to the traditions of this football club and that kept us steady.
Now we can move forward together into the adventure that awaits us in the SPL and you can rest assure that we will do our best not to let you down.