Dundee is 'hardest' rescue mission so far

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The Independent Football

The administrator Tom Burton has saved three football clubs from severe financial difficulties - but admits he has seen nothing like the problems at Dundee. "Saving the club is feasible, of course it is," he said. "I've been in this situation before and have come through the other side, although I must say I've not been involved in a situation as critical as this one."

The club has debts of £20m and was haemorrhaging £100,000 a week until the administrators Ernst & Young sacked 25 members of staff, including 15 players, on Tuesday. However, they still have heavy losses to contend with and although they have reduced the wage bill by 45 per cent, more cuts are needed.

Burton, who previously helped Gillingham, Portsmouth and Brighton solve their financial problems, was called in to restructure Dundee and find a way to save it from going into full liquidation.

"I've been lucky with the three clubs I've dealt with so far and I'll need to be even luckier this time," he said. "This is certainly the hardest job I've come in to do, I'm a realist and I think the club can survive, but the possibility of doing that will depend a lot on what happens over the next few weeks."

Ernst & Young have been heavily criticised for scrapping almost the entire youth policy at Dens, putting into doubt the long-term future of Jim Duffy's first team. Burton admitted he does not have much knowledge of football matters and would prefer to leave that side of things to the manager, but maintained his cuts were necessary to ensure the club as a whole survived.

"We've been brought in to help the club in the short term, as short as three months, and although this may be unpalatable, the long-term development of youths is really not our remit," he said.

The prospect of part-time football is something which could also not be ruled out, although Burton was quick to stress that he has not even considered it at this stage.