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Football: United offered lifeline.

MILLIONAIRE Eddie Thompson last night admitted that he is ready to step into the breach left by disgraced chairman Jim McLean.

Thompson, who owns the grocery chain Morning, Noon and Night, offered to invest a seven-figure sum into the club last November, but that was rejected by the Tannadice board.

A consortium of Thompson and United for Change also tried to buy unissued shares, so that the money would go straight to the club.

And although they were unsuccessful eleven months ago, Thompson, a season ticket holder and life-long fan, is still keen to put cash into United.

He said: "I put a seven-figure sum on the table last November to buy shares. But it was turned down.

"I originally asked Mr McLean for shares two years ago, but he said no. The shares I tried to buy last year were unissued ones, so all the money would have gone back into the club.

"And I am still willing to invest."

Thompson expressed sympathy over the way that McLean left the club, but he feels that they must use his resignation to take the club forward.

He admits that the club he loves are at an all-time low, both on and off the field, and unless action is taken soon the club will freefall into the First Division. He said: "Mr McLean and I haven't got on because I've been trying to change the club, but I have got some sympathy for the way things went.

"But we now have to use this as the catalyst to take the club forward. I've supported the club for 35 years and the most important thing is not Mr McLean, myself or any individual, it's Dundee United Football Club.

"We must move forward, with fresh determination and new ideas. We must lift moral, motivation, have a change of attitude and bring in ambition.

"All that matters is that Dundee United stay in the league."
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Title Annotation:Sport
Author:Baillie, Michael
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Oct 16, 2000
Words:321
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