This piece is an extract from yesterday's The Dandies newsletter, which is emailed out at 6pm every Tuesday.

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Just when you thought the international break would bring some much-welcomed peace and quiet for Aberdeen Football Club, think again!

What a week it’s been away from the playing surface. First up, the club released a statement in regard to the Viaplay League Cup Final ticket fiasco and 24 hours later their annual accounts for the year ended 30th June 2023 were released, all of which made for some very interesting reading!

Let’s deal with the ticket issue first which all could have been avoided if the SPFL had seen common sense and simply offered a 50/50 split in the first place. This would not have forced the club to try a new approach to ensure fans did not miss out. Plus, if fans of a certain club hadn’t acted like complete morons none of the issues faced would have happened. It all got very messy. Was I surprised that our initial allocation of 17,000 sold out within hours, absolutely not! I wouldn’t have expected anything less, it was always going to happen. I applaud both CEO Alan Burrows and Ticket Office Manager Jamie Howell who both took to social media this week to offer their apologies for the disruption caused. Their transparency and honesty are a breath of fresh air. I just hope that genuine Aberdeen fans who bought their tickets only to be told that their purchase had been
cancelled due to the issues caused by those who thought it would be ‘a bit of a laugh’ to buy up tickets in the Aberdeen end have their issues resolved and they all receive their briefs accordingly.

The club’s intentions were admirable by planning a process where larger groups and families could all sit together but not long after they quickly recognised their mistake, hence the statement and the public apology. I fully expect the remaining 2,500 tickets to be snapped up within hours of becoming available which will ensure a very noisy Red Army will be in attendance at Hampden on the 17th of December. Let’s hope valuable lessons have been learned by all involved.

Just 24-hours after the cup final ticket statement was made public the club then released their annual accounts. Aberdeen reported a “steady financial progress” which was very much bolstered by a positive player trading business strategy which in turn meant the club reported a net profit of £1.1million. This was mainly due to the player sales of Ross McCrorie, Lewis Ferguson, Scott McKenna and Calvin Ramsay offsetting an operational loss of just under £6.3million. It appears the new business model is working. It’s not just player sales that have contributed to the
club performing well off the pitch, season ticket sales have increased at a steady rate, particularly among the under-18s which is great to see. It appears the new generation of Aberdeen fans is well and truly buying into the club’s new initiatives and ideas.

Next season should see even further improvements to the annual figures with our Europa Conference League income, Viaplay Cup run and the sale of Ylber Ramadani all contributing to what will hopefully be a healthy return. If we are to believe the rumours coming out of Italy that AC Milan
are closely monitoring the progress of Ylber and Juventus keen to secure the services of Lewis Ferguson I just hope that the sell-on clauses negotiated have us rubbing our hands together. What I will say is that I believe the club have been a little generous when it comes to transfer fees received for certain players. Ylber Ramadani’s fee should have been double what Lecce paid and I also think we could have held out for a touch more for Ross McCrorie. We are now in a strong position where
we don’t have to sell players so if we do let’s make sure we get top dollar for them.

As much as I enjoyed the international break this time around what with Scotland securing their passage to Germany next summer, I always begin to get withdrawal symptoms from the Scottish Premiership a few days in. Aberdeen head into a crazy schedule leading up to the end of the calendar year, beginning with Rangers this coming Sunday where I fully expect us to ‘raise our game’. Then we have to negotiate 10 games before the New Year.

If there was ever a time for Barry to start rotating his squad, now is that time. Surely, he can’t continue to use the same 15 players he has so rigidly stuck with since the season start. No doubt, time will tell.