I TOLD YOU SO; Scott Says He Knew Marr's Foreign Policy Was Doomed to Failure from the Beginning

Daily Mail (London), March 20, 2004 | Go to article overview

I TOLD YOU SO; Scott Says He Knew Marr's Foreign Policy Was Doomed to Failure from the Beginning


Byline: BRIAN SCOTT

BRIAN SCOTT on a Tayside icon still upset over his club's plight

FEW names are as well woven into the fabric of Dundee's 111- year history as that of Jocky Scott.

He remains the Dens Park club's second highest scorer of all time, with 153 goals compared to Alan Gilzean's 154, while his number of appearances for them, 396, is topped only by three men, Doug Cowie, Bill Marsh and Bobby Cox.

Scott has the additional distinction of having served two spells as Dundee's manager, taking them to their best-ever finish in the Premier League, fifth, during the second.

So it pains him as much as it does any fan to see them languish in administration, with possibly their best chance of avoiding closure being to groundshare with Dundee United at Tannadice.

'What has happened is very upsetting, especially for the supporters,' Scott, presently on the coaching staff at Sunderland, admitted. 'But, really, it never should have happened in the first place.'

To explain his reasoning for this assertion, he need think back only to his reappointment as manager in 1998, i n succession to John McCormack, and the events which unfolded thereafter.

Hindsight tells the rest of us that chief executive Peter Marr became dangerously misguided in his ambitions for the club, although Scott had sufficient foresight to recognise that such could be the case.

With Ivano Bonetti hired as his replacement and, their bankers doubtless looking on in consternation, Dundee's debt began spiralling towards its current, and crippling, figure of [pounds sterling]20million.

'I really don't know if the club had much debt when I left but, if they did, it was nothing that was going to cause them the problems which have occurred since,'

Scott said. 'The thing is that, with Peter Marr, I had agreed a wage structure for players.

'We never paid anyone above the top level. In fact, in most cases, we never went anywhere near it, preferring to work more on incentive bonuses based on results.

'Then Peter got this idea of bringing in players from abroad. It was planted in his head when he met the president of a Spanish club who told him how they operated: signing players from South America in the hope of selling them on for big money.

'I said to him at the time that what sounded great in theory just would not work out in practice. Not in Scotland, anyway. Firstly, I didn't think we could bring in the best of quality.

'Then there was the question in my mind of how South Americans, who play a different style to us and in a better climate, might adapt to our game. On top of that, since the Bosman ruling, there had been very few big deals out of Scotland.'

Marr evidently found Bonetti much more receptive to his bold, if fatally flawed, initiative, with Scott reflecting: 'In fairness to him, he brought in players I couldn't have done. But the plan just didn't work.

'Wages rocketed and, at the end of the day, Bonetti never improved on what Jimmy Bone and I had done with Dundee. The season after promotion, we were fifth, our best-ever finish in the Premier.

'The season after that, we were seventh. We'd achieved consolidation and I hoped that, gradually, we could become stronger and look to do well in the cups. Unfortunately, it wasn't to be, so far as I was concerned.'

Historians might argue that, with Jim Duffy enjoying Bonetti's legacy, Dundee did well enough last season to contest the Tennent's Scottish Cup Final and qualify for Europe for the first time in a generation. …

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