Dundee United admit Jackie McNamara transfer bonus

By Jim SpenceBBC Sport
Dundee Utd manager Jackie McNamara (right) and Chairman Stephen Thompson
Dundee Utd manager Jackie McNamara (right) and chairman Stephen Thompson

Dundee United have admitted that team boss Jackie McNamara receives bonuses related to transfer fees but insist he is not involved in negotiations.

And they stress that the manager had not benefited to anything like the tune of £500,000 quoted in a newspaper.

It follows a war of words with two supporters groups.

United issued a statement after McNamara "specifically waived his right to confidentiality and requested that we clarify" the arrangement.

"Certain bonuses are payable in respect of player transfers, but he plays no part in any transfer negotiations," said the Scottish Premiership club.

"This remains the responsibility of the chairman and the board. All bonuses are capped and properly monitored.

"It is important to note that the manager has not received bonuses anywhere near the highly misleading figure of £500,000 stated publicly this week."

United were responding to newspaper reports claiming McNamara was receiving payments over the transfers of Ryan Gauld to Sporting Lisbon, Andrew Robertson to Hull City, and Stuart Armstrong and Gary Mackay-Steven to Celtic.

The club said it had employed McNamara's management team in January 2013 specifically to develop and play young talent in the first team with a view to future sales in order to reduce their debts.

Stuart Armstrong and Gary Mackay-Steven at Celtic training
Stuart Armstrong and Gary Mackay-Steven moved from Dundee United to Celtic during January

"We sought a candidate who was more likely to develop and take the opportunity to blood young players in the first team rather than recruiting experienced players," they said.

"The manager's basic remuneration package was reduced considerably, replaced instead by a performance-based contract, with several bonus initiatives, which included developing young players into actual transfer targets.

"This practice is well established throughout the UK, particularly in England, where transfer markets are a substantial incentive."

United stressed that, during McNamara's tenure, the overall debt has been reduced from £5.6m to £2.65m and "is projected to be further reduced to some £1.4m later this year".

The Tannadice club had been criticised by the Arabtrust and the Federation of Dundee United Supporters Clubs after some of the details emerged at a club meeting on 26 March.

However, the two groups insist that they "have respected the confidentiality of some very sensitive information provided" and that they "will continue to honour that".

"At no point in our statement of 1 April did we imply, far less name, anyone who may have benefited from the transfers of the four players mentioned," they say, blaming the media for naming the manager.

"We were concerned around 'commission' payments that the club had informed us of.

"However, they would not outline who they had been paid to. It now appears to be confirmed that Jackie McNamara was one recipient, although we would continue to ask the club, who else has been in receipt of these 'commissions'?

"The club did provide clarity in certain areas and this is how we arrived at the 'over £500,000' stated."

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