Thompson: I’ve nothing to be ashamed of over McNamara sacking
STEPHEN THOMPSON has insisted Jackie McNamara had considerable backing from the board in his time as Dundee United manager and has defended the club’s handling of his dismissal.
The Tannadice chairman relieved McNamara of his duties by letter in the wake of Saturday’s 2-1 defeat by St Johnstone with his contract officially being terminated during conversations on Monday evening.
McNamara’s father, Jackie Snr, has described United’s handling of the saga as “abysmal”, but Thompson insists he spoke to Jackie Jnr face to face and has done as much as could be expected to make a success of things at the club, who currently sit second bottom of the Ladbrokes Premiership following a run of seven fixtures without a win.
“The board have been discussing it for a while, where we were as a club, where we think we should be and the support we’ve given to the manager,” said Thompson. “Different clubs do things in different ways. We followed the advice we had from a legal point of view. I’ve seen managers sacked via their agent, a phone call from the chairman to an agent. At least I handed Jackie a letter to his face, spoke to him to his face and looked him in the eye.
“I’ve heard a lot worse ways of managers being handled over the years.”
United have sold the likes of Gary Mackay-Steven, Stuart Armstrong, Ryan Gauld, Nadir Ciftci and Andy Robertson over the past couple of seasons, but Thompson insists he has to balance the books and insists that signif- icant finance has been invested both in the playing staff and the club’s training base at St Andrews.
“Four or five years ago, we were under ridiculous pressure from the bank to the point where the club could have gone under,” he said. “I was determined the club would not get into that position again. Yes, we sold players, but those five players played in the cup final in 2014 and we didn’t win that. We have brought in 12 players since January. Our playing budget is the third biggest in the league and we are sitting second bottom. To me, that is a fair bit of support back.
“If you go over to St Andrews, there are great facilities there. There is more staff there than there is here at Tannadice. We feel we have backed him as much as we could.”
McNamara, appointed in January 2013, saw his popularity nosedive among United fans when it was revealed he had a contractual clause entitling him to a cut of transfer fees for players sold by the club, but Thompson insists the decision over his future was based on recent results alone.
Dave Bowman, who will take the team for Saturday’s league visit to Partick Thistle, is not expected to be in the running for the manager’s position. Thompson says he is looking for someone with managerial experience.
“I believe this is too big a club for a first managerial appointment,” he said.
NO REGRETS: Thompson insists he had board’s full backing in removing manager