Date: 13th February 2007 at 11:22am
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Jimmy Calderwood has come out and stated that he needs more investment if he can continue taking the club forward. Jimmy has continually worked on a shoestring budget and has only spent a total of £500,000 since his arrival in 2004 but has made impressive progress in the league each season.

Jimmy`s plea for cash should be quite a worrying call for Dons fans as everyone can see the yearly progress and stability Calderwood, along with his staff, have brought to the club, as he had achieved previously at Dunfermline. His progress in taking Aberdeen and Dunfermline and also Dutch club NEC Nijmegen in his first management role, perennially forward and on extremely limited funds will not have gone unnoticed elsewhere either. If Jimmy is not able to fulfil his ambitions at Aberdeen there are plenty other clubs wanting a manager of his standard, history of progress and capabilities who have cash to match his goals.

Whilst Jimmy would obviously love for money to be made available due to increased gate receipts, the fact that they are actually decreasing despite the team challenging at the top makes for confusing book balancing and obviously an unattractive venture to potential investors. Jimmy has often wondered what he has to do to get the floating Aberdeen fans back into the ground and may get tired of failing before being tempted by another club whose fans would flock to see their local club advancing and challenging.

It may seem a last ditch attempt to get the fans back in the door or it maybe that he`s frustrated at feeling continuously financially restrained and not being able to move onto the next stage in the clubs development but he`s calling for everyone in the city to rally behind the team and urge them forward and into the Champions League place that he feels is so very achievable this term.

He told the Press and Journal ‘We are getting to a stage now where to get better than what we have is going to cost money and there is a lack of it.

‘We are heading to the point where it will be a brick wall for the club, which is a worry, but this is young group of players here and the best is still to come.

‘We have been very consistent, defensively strong, and we are now scoring goals and winning difficult home games.

‘If we can qualify for Europe the next stage will be to get a little bit further and get the coefficient up, but that will cost money.

‘I look at some of the major oil companies in this city and if we could benefit from just a fraction of the profits they generate we would not have to worry about Hearts and Hibs any more.’

Jimmy is quite happy with the size and standard of his squad but would like to add just a couple of players of real quality for next season that he feels would shift the team onto the next platform, challenging realistically for honours.

He said: ‘We have very good striking options and we will need only one, possibly two new players in the summer.

‘We are talking to Gary Dempsey and Karim Touzani and we will see how Craig Brewster is in the summer.

‘Jamie Winter and David Donald will be leaving in the summer which takes us down to a squad of 21 and we will be running with a squad of 22 next season.’

Calderwood was not pleased to see Walter Smith return to Rangers again and the transformation there was instantaneous with the Glasgow club only dropping points in the 0-0 draw with Hearts since his walkout on Scotland; a run that probably would not have happened under the direction of Paul Le Guen. Calderwood has not thrown the towel in yet though, he still believes his team can make it.

He said: ‘If we keep everybody fit we have a chance but Walter going back to Rangers has definitely not helped us.

‘Barry Ferguson is playing well, which is a worry, and Kris Boyd is scoring for fun, but we have to play them twice and I don’t think we will be sitting back too much.

Jimmy is pleased with the way his team has grown and shows his concern for the national team by looking to promote and bring in Scottish players where possible.

‘We have spent around £550,000 in three years, which is not too bad, and most of the players are Scottish.

‘We have them signed up for a wee while longer and the older they get the better they will be.

‘You can see it in their game and it is no fluke we have scored so many goals in the last 10 minutes of matches this season.

‘There is a respect right through the club and everyone seems happy. I always believe you get the best out of a happy workforce and that is evident with the players here.’

These should be exciting times for Dons fans but less than 10,000 turned up to watch the victory over Dunfermline last Saturday. The fact the Pars are bottom of the league would have dissuaded some and the poor weather more still but a team challenging for Europe can surely attract a bigger following, especially in a one team city.

It could be the best chance Aberdeen have in the foreseeable future of securing that second spot as it can only be imagined that David Murray will hand Walter Smith a sizeable cheque to play with to avert another disaster that has seen them sit 19 points behind their historic rivals Celtic in the league and out of the running for all trophies come the month of January. That`s without taking into account the rapid growth and development Hibs are making under John Collins and their city rivals Hearts surely finding some sanity where they can both find and field their best team next season from the cast of hundreds at their disposal.

Dons fans maybe witnessing the last chance for their team to be challenging in Europes’ premier competition for a long stretch. Qualification for The Champions League would bring serious interest back to the club and raise the stature back to its rightful pedestal. Money and players could be brought in and the glory nights relived but it has to happen this season first and then the club can kick forward from there.

The end of this season could be very vital to the future of Aberdeen FC and every Dons fan should be breaking the gates down to witness it unfold.