Louise Thompson didn't want to work at Tannadice. The Job Centre had sent her, warning her that her benefits would be stopped. She hated the place and hated the football club whose home it was, Dundee United. There were reasons. To her mind, legitimate reasons. Her mother, Agnes, had worked for years at Morning, Noon and Night, the chain of foodstores owned by the late Chairman of Dundee United, Eddie Thompson. Worked, that was, until Eddie Thompson, the multi-millionaire, no relation Eddie Thompson had sold the chain to Scotmid, netting himself a tad over £30 million. Within weeks, Agnes Thompson, failing to find another job, had turned to drink. Within months, she had turned to drugs and prostitution. Within a year, she was dead, her knickers at her ankles, a soiled condom nearby and a needle in her arm.
Louise was on minimum wage, the football club could barely afford that. She was acting secretary to Stephen Thompson, the son of the man she hated. His last secretary, Dierdre Thompson, a third cousin, had been made redundant, after all she had earned a decent wage.
Elsewhere in the city, liquidators Thompson, Thompson, Cocksocket & Thompson held a board meeting. None of the Thompsons were related, nor were any related to the Thompson who ran Dundee United. Cocksocket was a distant cousin, though. The liquidation papers of the football club lay before them as did the long list of creditors.
In the first few months of season 2016-17, Stephen tried everything to keep his club afloat. Relegation from the SPFL to the Championship had drastic consequences. Manager Mixu Paatelainen resigned, the majority of the senior squad had been released.
The only glimmer of hope was that the women's team had been top of the SWFL2 East. In a futile attempt to keep the club afloat, Thompson had asked the authorities, 'Can we get the men's team in there, too?'
In a bid to change the image of the club, he undertook drastic action. He contacted the agent of Paul Hogan, the veteran Australian actor, suggesting Hogan pay a couple of million a year and Thompson would change the team's name to Crocodile Dundee United. Hogan's agent, hung up, reminding Thompson the actor was embroiled in a dispute with the Australian tax authorities and couldn't spare a couple of dollars a year, far less the sum Thompson had asked for. He then reverted the club's name to Dundee Hibernian, the strip to the original green top, white shorts and green socks, from their foundation in 1909.
Thompson had hoped his mentor Peter will come in and buy some more players, which had helped for the past couple of years. Gary Mackay-Steven, Stuart Armstrong and Nadir Ciftci had all gone on to be bit part players for Bheast FC, until the latter had truly been found out and the turkey was sent on loan to Turkey. John Souttar went to Hertz to sell hire cars and Ryan McGowan sold to Henan Jianye in exchange for a two year supply of Chinese takeaways.
Nothing had worked. The crowds, down to the hundreds from the few thousand who watched their final SPFL games, deserted even more. The youth team had been retained, they were on minimum wage, too. Until they walked out on the club. In desperation, Thompson rang round the family. He managed to register fourteen male relatives and a pre-op transgender female niece, aged between ten and sixty three, thereby creating four Scottish football records. Firstly, the youngest ever player in Scottish football, Jordan Thompson, aged ten; the oldest player in Scottish football, Albert Thompson, aged 63; a team with most players of the same name, ten Thompsons and one Cocksocket (all related) and the only team with a player called Lucille (although, in fairness, she/ he did prefer to be known as Felix, it was something to do with licking pussies).
Function hire in the Hegarty Suite had advertised a 'Bring your own buffet'. It didn't attract people, the good folk of Dundee regard Greggs as buffet. The truth was that Thompson had not paid the caterers and laid off the cook.
He phoned celebrity fans to enlist their support, preferably financially. Ricky Ross was skint. His last album was 2013's Trouble Came Looking and sales had been poor. People download illegally nowadays and, anyway, the music was shite. Ricky explained he would like to help but that he was currently undertaking a wide-ranging UK acoustic tour in small, intimate venues. Thompson knew this was another way of saying, 'I can't sell out big venues anymore.'
Lorraine Kelly, from her home in Broughty Ferry bluntly told Thompson that she wasn't interested. He wasn't surprised, it was hope against hope. He was surprised, however, by the language she used, which he never recalled her using on her delightful morning television show.
Depression hit Stephen Thompson, his father had sold his empire, the money raised had been spent, well, wasted. Stephen had fight after fight with his sister, Justine. He didn't mind, after all, she was a Mitchell now, not a Thompson. He hated her for so many reasons, her constant moaning, bitching and complaining about him spunking their father's money. What did she want? He had allowed her to get a chunk of their mother's stake in the club, hadn't he? It wasn't his fault that she now owned a bigger percentage of feck all.
Cath, his mum, gave up Honorary President, when her friends at the Women's Institute started laughing at her.
Thompson's psychiatrist, Dr Muriel Thompson, no relation, listened as the snivelling wreck before her whined. He couldn't understand why his ideas to inject the club with money had failed. The sale in the club's store and on-line shop had brought in some cash but not enough to cover the month's wages. The black glazed Buy A Brick campaign, reduced from £100 to £75 had done reasonably well, although it meant swallowing his pride to accept orders from over 300 registered Rangers Supporters Clubs, especially since they all demanded the same text 'Die, you bastards.' The walls of Tannadice looked pretty damn silly now.
Everything else had been bought by a market trader in a job lot, who would flog it off at bargain prices. He told Stephen his name was Tom Thompson and paid cash. Truthfully, the only item they had made real money on was the stainless steel flasks with the club crest, sold at a tenner apiece. They had been snapped up by the women of Dundee, who were under the impression they were buying dildos with the crest on.
Despite hating him, she felt pity and tried to cheer him up reminding him of the item which had sold well, in the clearance sale.
'The mugs did very well,' she said.
'Aye, but we get fewer and fewer every home game because we're shite.'
Seeing her boss attempting to stand on his head, she remarked, 'Are you into yoga?'
He replied. 'No, why?'
She asked, 'Then, why are you doing a handstand?'
Stephen Thompson smiled an upside down smile and said, 'I'm looking at last year's league table. We were top, you know.'
A discreet ambulance drew up, outside the ground. It was from The Thompson Home for the Bewildered, where Stephen would spend the rest of his life soiling himself and thinking of what might have been.
Only days after Stephen Thompson was admitted to care, the second Mr Thompson of liquidators Thompson, Thompson, Cocksocket & Thompson told his colleagues: 'I've had an offer of £16.90 from a supporters group called Vanguard Bears. They want to buy us out.'
'But they hate us, why would they try to bail out the club?'
'They want to open a car park.'
Four heads, three Thompsons and a Cocksocket, came together. Within minutes, the decision was made. '£16.90, eh? Best offer so far. Let's take it.'