McLean loses cool and resigns

 

Dundee United confirmed yesterday that Jim McLean, their chairman and former manager, had been forced to resign following an unseemly incident at Tannadice on Saturday in which McLean punched a BBC reporter.

McLean understandably spent yesterday in hiding, following the most uncomfortable and ignominious 24 hours of his life. On Saturday night's Sportscene Match of the Day, BBC Scotland ran the unedited footage of McLean's interview with their reporter, John Barnes. The interview concluded with McLean swearing at Barnes before side-stepping the camera and landing a blow on the reporter.

Barnes suffered a cut lip and had to be treated by the Dundee United club doctor. McLean, meantime, was dragged into hurried consultation with the rest of the United board, who were faced with no option but to request his resignation.

United issued a statement yesterday confirming that McLean had stepped down. The episode follows months of discomfort for McLean. His glory days as United manager have quickly been forgotten as the club's decline continued apace under his chairmanship. On Saturday passions were ignited by United's humiliating 4-0 home defeat by Hearts.

McLean has a history of blood-popping outbursts. By a cruel irony, he was already due to face an SFA inquiry today over remarks made to a referee during a recent Dundee United youth match.

This latest controversy is a sad way for McLean to end a magnificent career in football. In 1983, with a hotchpotch of unsung players, he broke the Old Firm stranglehold by winning the title. The following season, United were unlucky not to reach the European Cup final, being beaten 3-2 over two legs by Roma in the semis. Three years later, with another rebuilt team of cast-offs, United reached the UEFA Cup final where they again lost out, this time to Gothenburg.

Saturday's incident hogged all the headlines in Scottish football, unfortunately for Hibs, who beat Rangers 1-0 at Easter Road.