Writer: Arab Jacques
Date:Monday November 27 2006
Before going to a job interview, it`s always a good idea to do a little research into the company or organisation you might potentially be joining.
With football clubs, that might involve looking into the current squad, recent results and learning what went right or wrong under the previous manager.
When Craig Levein was approached to take on the role as Craig Brewster`s replacement at Tannadice, he did a little snooping off his own....asking some of his contacts about the current Dundee United Chairman.
Since taking over at Dundee United in 2002, Eddie Thompson has sacked 5 managers (Alex Smith, Paul Hegarty, Ian McCall, Gordon Chisholm and Craig Brewster) so before he was willing to agree to be the next inline for the chop, Levein asked around about what Eddie Thompson was like to work for.
"I spoke to a couple of people who had worked with Eddie and I don't think his relationship with all his managers was bad at all," Levein told the Sunday Express.
"He's certainly not some sort of ogre, which might be the impression some people had."
Levein joined Tannadice at the start of November, with Eddie Thompson promising to bankroll several new signings when the transfer window re-opens in January.
"The chairman has said he will provide money from his own pocket in January. He's a supporter and he desperately wants the club to do well"
Levein continued "Eddie has cut back a lot on the wage bill, so the money we have to spend will be a fair bit less than in previous seasons.
"The chairman has had his fingers burnt in the past, he's spent quite a lot of money but that has not always been reflected in the club's league position."
In the past Dundee United have learnt to their cost that signing big names doesn`t always mean they will do the business on the park.
Stevie Crawford & Lee Miller are just two of the big names to be added to the United squad over the past few years, but neither lasted very long at Tannadice and before long were released on frees, with United losing out on transfer fees & wages.
"From the outside looking in, people think if you spend money you get success but it doesn't always work that way," said Levein.
"It hasn't happened for United so what would you do?"
The former Managing Director of 'Morning, Noon & Night' has invested an incredible amount of his own personal fortune in Dundee United over the past 4 years, with rumors that around £4-£5million of his own money has been risked on bring success back to Tannadice.
However, Levein was realistic about the club future and knows that things cant continue with the Chairman subsidising the club to such a degree.
"The club has to be run with a budget that can be sustained not by the chairman's pocket but by revenue that can be generated," he said.
"It can't go on forever so there's been a realisation that Eddie's tried something and it hasn't worked."
Although, Levein's impression of the Chairman so far seems quite positive, and he's enjoying his time at the club so far.
"I've found him quite refreshing," he said.
"He's got concerns like every other chairman, he's here most days and is very hands on, but it's his club."
Date:Monday November 27 2006
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