Gardiner hails promotion

PA Sport
Dens Park will host Scottish Premier League football next season
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Dens Park will host Scottish Premier League football next season

Dundee chief executive Scot Gardiner has hailed the club's promotion to the Clydesdale Bank Premier League as great news for everyone involved with the Dark Blues.

The Dens Park side finished second in the Irn-Bru First Division last season, 24 points behind champions Ross County, but were selected to replace Rangers in the top-flight following the newco club's rejected application.

Dunfermline, who finished bottom of the SPL, were the other candidates to fill the Club 12 vacancy but Dundee were the side chosen and Gardiner was delighted with the decision. "It was great news for the club, great news for the players and most importantly great news for the fans," he told the club's official website, www.dundeefc.co.uk.

"They've had seven years of backing their team through thick and thin in the first division - some pretty thin times and some pretty hairy experiences - one of the first things we all thought about here was this is amazing for the fans, that's absolutely genuine - it's what they deserve."

Despite the obvious positives of being promoted to the SPL, Gardiner revealed how pre-season plans were heavily interrupted by the uncertainty surrounding the club.

He said: "The football side of it was basically brought to a halt, we'd gone out and signed the targets that we had identified but still had three or four we were hoping to bring in, but when it became apparent that the Rangers thing was unfolding as it was, and in our minds we were pretty confident that it was going to be us that were going up, we stopped everything dead.

"Although we were saying that we were trying very hard to just focus on Division One, it would have been wrong of us on behalf of the club to continue signing players we had targeted to help win us the First Division if in fact we were going into the SPL."

Even on hearing the news that the club would be playing top-flight football for the first time since 2005 Gardiner was still aware of the potential ramifications of the lost time.

"For a start the SPL season starts a week earlier than the SFL, SPL sides started pre-season around 10 days ahead of our players, everything that we had planned for pre-season, our schedule was for us to peak on the 11th of August and now it's going to be a week before that," he said.

"But I'm loathe to criticise because I think once it spiralled out of control I don't think there was very much anyone could do to get a grip of it with three governing bodies and three different constitutions."

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