Scotland: There’s… Dundee United again!

Carsten Germann am Millerntor

Author: Carsten Germann
Published: 31.05.2024

Posted in Fussball Derbys,

They are back – Dundee United. A great Scottish club is back in the Premiership and football trips to Scotland will have a bit of nostalgia in 2024/2025 thanks to Dundee.

Exactly 40 years ago, Dundee United knocked on the door to the biggest final in Europe. In the first leg of the European Cup semi-final, the Scots won 2-0 with Richard Gough and Maurice Malpas against AS Roma, whose chances of reaching the final in their home Stadio Olimpico were slim. Roma turned the match around in the second leg – 3:0 – but then failed in the final stage, losing to FC Liverpool on penalties.

Dundee United Partick Thistle

Kai Fortheringham (center) and Dundee United celebrate against Partick Thistle in the Scottish Championship on May 3, 2024. Photo: Imago

With Aberdeen, last "non-Old Firm" champion

Dundee United, as well as FC Aberdeen coached by Alexander Chapman Ferguson (then without Sir), took advantage of a weak period of the two Glasgow clubs Celtic and Rangers FC – and became the last Scottish champions not from the "Old Firm" camp between 1983 and 1985.

While FC Aberdeen won the European Cup Winners' Cup against the great Real Madrid (2:1 after extra time in Gothenburg) in 1983, Dundee also unsuccessfully reached for an international cup in 1987. "The Terrors" around Dundee idol Maurice Malpas lost the UEFA Cup final against IFK Gothenburg 0:1 and 1:1.

Previously, Dundee formally ended the great era of the "Fohlen" in Europe with the semi-final victory against Borussia Mönchengladbach.

Solid 80s nostalgia – and the good thing is that these two lovable Scottish clubs will both be back in the Premiership next season. Dundee United is back in the Premiership – and already knows its first match dates in the summer of 2024.

In the Premier Sports Cup, the Scottish Championship champion will enter the action on July 13, 2024 – against Falkirk, before playing Stenhousemuir on July 15. Ayr United and Buckie Thistle are the other opponents on July 20/23 in this competition.

The "Blairgowrie Baresi" stays

Some good news for the promoted team came on May 30. Defender Ross Graham, the "Blairgowrie Baresi," as he is called due to his birthplace in the town of Blairgowrie & Rattray northwest of Dundee (cf. "Stockport Iniesta," Phil Foden), signed a new contract with United until 2026. Earlier, another defender, Kevin Holt, extended his contract at Tannadice Park.

"Last season was fantastic," Graham wrote, "we brought the club back to where it belongs, and it was special to be a part of it."

With a goal difference of plus 50, coach Jim Goodwin's team achieved direct promotion.

22 wins from 36 games mean a club record.

Louis Moult was the top scorer with 18 goals, behind Brian Graham of Partick Thistle, who scored 20 goals.

Football trips to Scotland for the Dundee Derby?

Dundee United is back – playing Premier League again at Tannadice Park after a year of absence, and there will be the traditional Dundee Derby against "The Dees" from FC Dundee.

The Tannadice Park, built in 1882, and FC Dundee's Dens Park stadium are separated by only one street, making them the closest stadiums in Scottish football.

"It was an easy decision to stay in Dundee," Holt told BBC Sport, "a great dressing room, a brilliant coaching team, and a feel-good factor after a great season. We want to build on that in the Premiership."

The Dundee comeback will be exciting – as will the question of whether Celtic Glasgow can catch up with the record champion Rangers FC in 2024/2025.

"The Bhoys" won the championship for the 54th time and could tie with the "Gers" with another triumph next year.

Another interesting participant in the Europa League qualification is Heart of Midlothian, last successful in 2012 with the Scottish FA Cup, will represent the league of Germany's Euro 2024 opponents in these games.

Carsten Germann am Millerntor

Der Autor: Carsten Germann berichtet seit 2002 aus erster Hand über den englischen Fußball, u. a. für DIE WELT, BILD am SONNTAG und seit April 2021 auch als leitender Redakteur beim Portal Zudem gab er mit den Büchern Football’s home (2007) und Absolute Dynamite! (2010) zwei Sammelbände mit seinen Fußball-Reiseerlebnissen aus Großbritannien heraus. Für DIE FUSSBALLREISE schreibt er regelmäßig über den Insel-Kick.