IN a sense, I suppose, Mark Ogren was right after all. Dundee United are now relegated - barring a miracle that would make feeding the five thousand look a bit small time - and the world is still turning. That’s about the only solace their fans can take from a miserable week for one half of the City of Discovery.

The United owner deserves credit for putting his money where his mouth is since taking over the club (the 2021 accounts showed he was in for £9m in interest-free loans, a figure that is now reported to be around £13m and only going one way), but perhaps he would have been better off sticking a sock in there instead back in February at the club’s AGM.

His bullish proclamations of that time now seem almost comical, though it is doubtful that many Arabs find them funny.

"The players we signed are good players,” Ogren said. “No supporters came to me in the summer unhappy.”

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If he had left it there, he may have had a point. So many times this season you will have heard the old cliché about United having a squad of players who were too good to go down. But those big reputations seem to have also come with unmanageable egos, with three different gaffers failing to get a tune from a squad trousering over £4m a year between them.

You could also argue that while the fans didn’t take issue with the quality of player that was being recruited at the time, there were more than a few concerns about the imbalance in the squad, particularly with the lightweight look around the midfield.

Anyway, the overarching point wasn’t outrageous. Alas, he didn’t leave it there.

“We are in a better position than we were five years ago,” he continued. “We are in the top league now and we weren’t five years ago.” Errr…never mind, go on.

“I can’t believe the doom and gloom around the club. The success we have had in my tenure has been down to [sporting director] Tony [Asghar]’s work. He is my man.” Errr…never mind, go on.

“It is not the end of the world if we get relegated because we will come straight back up.”

No need then for the trite motivational slogans you often find adorning dressing rooms these days in The Championship next season then. Every club can simply have these words plastered on their walls.

Lest we forget, the last time United slumped into the second tier, it was widely presumed that they would rebound straight back up. They were stuck there for four years. And with the flux that will take place in their squad in the summer, Ogren’s assertion that they will absolutely win promotion next season doesn’t seem entirely rooted in reality.

The blame game is now in full swing, and while managers Jack Ross, Liam Fox and Jim Goodwin ultimately deserve their own slice of that, the fans are mostly pointing their fingers at their lily-livered players and - above anyone else - the man who brought them to the club.

Former sporting director Asghar has come in for all sorts of stick from supporters, and while he stepped down at the end of February, by that time the damage had been done. Because it is almost impossible to argue that the catastrophic January transfer window he oversaw wasn’t the moment that United ultimately doomed themselves to relegation.

The holes evident in the summer recruitment were not addressed. The decision not to replace goalkeeper Mark Birighitti, comfortably the worst keeper in the division and arguably one of the worst number ones in United’s history, was astonishing. Moreover, they allowed Carljohan Eriksson to leave on loan to FC Nordsjaelland, leaving only rookie Jack Newman as cover.

In front of Birighitti, it was clear that the defence weren’t up to the task. Loick Ayinya came in on loan from Huddersfield Town, but his promise in spells has been negated somewhat by some costly errors.

A creaking Charlie Mulgrew has been highly culpable of late too, and while relegation rivals of the time like Motherwell prioritised sorting out their backline, United stumbled on and have now conceded 67 goals with one game to go. Again, the worst in the division.

Surely the United hierarchy would at least recognise they had to fill the Jeando Fuchs-size hole in the middle of the park, though? Well, in fairness, it was said they did attempt to bring him back to the club, but when that failed, that was the limit of their imagination in attempting to solve that problem.

Up top, the expensive recruitment of Tony Watt hadn’t gone to plan, so the decision to loan him out to St Mirren wasn’t exactly without merit. However, it was incredible that the forward was allowed to leave before a replacement could be found, meaning that United were wholly reliant on 36-year-old Steven Fletcher playing almost every minute to drag them over the line.

He gave it a good go, and is perhaps the one United player to emerge from this sorry season with their reputation intact. Predictably though, he did eventually break down just as the campaign reached the final critical few games, missing the defeat to Livingston and playing against Kilmarnock during the week while clearly still carrying his groin injury.

Even after all of those missteps and mistakes, United still had a chance to save themselves. That they aren’t quite officially relegated even yet though almost compounds those errors. Had they a competent goalkeeper, for example, they would surely have picked up the handful of points needed to stay up.

Nothing can be done about that now, though. And Ogren will have to be very careful about who he trusts this time to complete the rebuilding job required to see his prophecy of immediate redemption come to fruition.

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Will the likes of Aziz Behich, Jamie McGrath and Dylan Levitt want to play Championship football? As for the rest, barring a sprinkling of promising youngsters like Rory MacLeod, the fans would gladly chase them down Tannadice Street.

So, as Ogren said, the sun will indeed still come up tomorrow. It may be a long time though before the same can be said of United.