For a man who does not have his troubles to seek, Mark Ogren cuts a remarkably calm figure these days. The Dundee United owner, who is based in his native United States, has been in town this week to attend the Tayside club’s AGM and meet with disgruntled supporters to assuage their relegation fears – but he may well have only stoked them further.

All is not well at Tannadice, and the Arabs’ fall from grace this term has been remarkable. When the previous campaign concluded, United were coached by one of Scottish football’s up-and-coming managers in Tam Courts and had secured a very respectable fourth-placed position. Fans could look forward to European football after the summer in the preliminary rounds of the Europa Conference League and while the football on show wasn’t always the prettiest, it was certainly functional.

What United would give now for even a hint of the resoluteness that the team showed under Courts. From start to finish, the current campaign has been a disaster. It started with Jack Ross’ short-lived reign at Tannadice that was most notable for a 7-0 loss away to AZ and a 9-0 humbling at home to Celtic, and those dispiriting defeats set the tone for a miserable season on Tayside.

Liam Fox was appointed as Ross’ successor but he has struggled to get the team clicking into gear – so much so that simply remaining in the division has to be United’s one and only goal for the remainder of the season. The January window transfer didn’t exactly help either, with United exiting it in worse shape than they entered it, and there is no getting around the fact that the squad looks awfully short in a few key positions.

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It all adds up to a very concerning picture for those of a tangerine persuasion – except, apparently, the one person whose opinion perhaps matters more than any other: Ogren.

In an interview with club media published on Wednesday, the Tannadice chief was almost serene as he discussed the various maladies afflicting United at present. He came across as confident and unperturbed by the current state of affairs, which begs the question: does he truly understand the scale of the problem?

“The long-term strategy, we’re still on,” Ogren told DUTV. “We’re bang on that strategy. There are going to be ups and downs. Last year, quite frankly we exceeded our expectations – certainly, this season has been a massive disappointment coming off of last season.

“Obviously I hope for the best this year but there are some things that are going to be completely out of our control. People continue to ask me ‘are you committed to the club?’. I’m absolutely committed to this club; I have put a lot of money into this club.

“Wherever we do end up, we are just going to address it and we are going to move on. It's that passion that drew us to the club to begin with, you can see why people are disappointed and mad about the current situation, I absolutely get that.”

Ogren’s relaxed approach to the team’s final league position should be ringing alarm bells for United fans. There is an air of dismissiveness about the way that the American refers to potentially ending up in the Championship; that relegation this season would simply mean a procession to the second-tier title in the following one.

At the AGM held at the stadium on Tuesday, Ogren was reportedly similarly lackadaisical about the threat of relegation and what it could mean for the Arabs. According to the Federation of Dundee United Supporters, the club’s owner said something to the effect of “it is not the end of the world if we get relegated because we will come straight back up”.

This is a dangerous attitude to hold – as United supporters know only too well. It wasn’t so long ago that the Terrors found themselves mired in the Championship for four years and Scottish football’s second tier regularly acts as a sort of vortex, clinging on to relegated teams and holding them captive for lengthy spells. Any United supporter – heck, just about any Scottish football fan – can tell you so yet Ogren is apparently oblivious to this reality.

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Ogren’s theory might well be put to the test sooner rather than later. With Fox’s team currently garnering 0.8 points per game and propping up the rest of the division, they are very much playing like relegation candidates. The team’s current points rate is only marginally better than when they went down in 2016 (0.74 points per game) and with their rivals around them showing signs of life, demotion to the second tier is looking like a very distinct possibility.

It is a serious situation that United find themselves in and it deserves to be treated with some gravity. Relegation would be a disaster but you could be forgiven for thinking it was little more than a minor inconvenience going by Ogren’s comments. Arrogance, hubris, an admirable sense of self-belief – call it what you will, but the end result is the same. Ogren has been on a mission this week to reassure supporters but his comments might well have the completely opposite effect.