Derek Soutar is lucky he was binned by telephone call after the former Dundee keeper turned Dundee United coach mocked the Tannadice side’s loss in the Tayside derby last midweek.
If Jim McLean had still been in charge of the tangerine side of Tannadice Street he would not have been responsible for his own actions once it had been relayed to him that a person coaching his club’s youngsters had made fun of a Dundee win in the derby.
The certainty is wee Jim wouldn’t have settled for the satisfaction of a telephone call informing a culprit that his gloating at United’s expense would cost him his part-time job.
The man who invented the modern day United and won them a league championship as well as bringing the club distinction in Europe demanded a single minded devotion to the cause and had nothing but contempt for those who had a bad word to say against his team.
It wasn’t unknown for Jim to pay a house call to people who had written to the local papers in Dundee and expressed a negative comment about United.
And, having personally been on the wrong side of Jim for daring to put forward a journalistic opinion about United that he deemed less than complimentary, I can assure you fiery doesn’t even begin to touch the surface of how volcanic his displeasure could be when riled.
Soutar tweeted about how proud he had been to be part of the last Dundee side to win a derby before Paul Hartley’s team matched that achievement eleven years later.
And then compounded the felony by sarcastically tweeting “If only Carlsberg did Wednesdays” once the 3 – 1 mauling of Jackie McNamara’s side was completed.
At best Derek’s comments showed a lack of sensitivity. That’s the polite way of saying he was downright stupid.
United had been dumped by Celtic in the League Cup final and then knocked out of the Scottish Cup by Ronny Deila’s side into the bargain.
Revelations about the manager being on commission whenever a transfer out of Tannadice was completed had soured the relationship between McNamara and some supporters.
A defeat from Dundee was, under the circumstances, the last thing anybody associated with United needed to happen.
To have the goalkeeping coach for the club’s young players make fun of that defeat, and then attempt to dismiss the entire episode as “Banter,” is outrageous.
The word “Banter” is, like the use of the word “Legend” a test of your credulity.
Who would want to see a man at the next kids’ training session who had mocked the colours they were wearing and then attempt to pass off the remarks he made as an irrelevance ?
United were well within their rights to ask that if you work for them, even if it is only for expenses and not staff wages, then you’re with them every step of the way.
McLean was a coach at Dens Park before he was asked to cross the road and become United manager.
Thereafter he brought a Bill Shanly-esque devotion to duty and had nothing further to do with his former employers, particularly on derby days.
Football’s way of letting irony add spice to certain occasions decreed that when United won the league title in 1983 they confirmed their status as champions by beating Dundee 2 – 0 at Dens Park on the final day of the season.
Nothing would have given McLean greater pleasure.
If Carlsberg did Saturdays that would have been the best one of his life. But he would have kept his thoughts to himself on that subject.
And if he had somehow managed to commit a faux pas of that sort then the last thing he would have done would have been to comment on the matter once it had escaped into the public domain.
That’s what you call dropping the ball.