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Dundee United’s lawyer will today formally forward the club’s plea to have Jason Scotland stay in the country to the Home Office.


Hugh Neilson, an expert in immigration law, will contact minister Tony McNulty to ask that he reverse the work permit decision or, more likely, set up a fresh panel to re–hear the striker’s case.

Included in the presentation will be a letter of support from Trinidad and Tobago manager Leo Beenhaaker, stating that the problems previous coach Bertille St Clair had with Scotland’s hair style are in the past and that he sees the United man as a key member of his international squad.

And perhaps even more significantly, Jim Sheridan, who chairs the all–party committee in the House of Commons that covers Scottish football matters, is also writing to Mr McNulty on Scotland’s behalf.

Mention will also be made of the player’s community work, particularly his patronage of the Show Racism The Red Card campaign, and the make–up of the panel that denied the permit—it comprised five former Hibs players—will be called into question.

The Tangerines hope to hear back from the Home Office before the weekend.

Meanwhile, the Tannadice club’s battle to keep Scotland at the club has received a boost after Middlesbrough captured Aiyegbeni Yakubu for £7.5 million after being granted a work permit on appeal.

The English Premiership outfit, represented by manager Steve McClaren and chief executive Keith Lamb, successfully argued the 22-year-old’s case at a hearing in Sheffield after his initial application was rejected last week.

“We are cautiously confident that progress will be made,” said United director Derek Robertson.

“We have been overwhelmed by the support of the fans—not just United fans—and have over 5000 names on the two petitions.

“I was interested to see that Middlesbrough were allowed an appeal to sign Yakubu.

“He was refused a permit on the grounds that he had not made enough international appearances, which was exactly why Jason was refused a work permit.

“That was because he didn’t get on with the Nigerian national coach, which is also exactly the same circumstances as Jason—so I think that opens the door slightly for us.

“We feel there is a definite injustice.

“If the review panel said that he was refused a work permit because he hadn’t made enough appearances or started enough games for Dundee United then we could have understood that.

“But to turn him down because he was ‘not good enough’ is just subjective opinion and I find that incredible.”

The Federation of Dundee United Supporters’ Clubs has their petition set up and supporters can add their name and address by Emailing petition@ feddusc.com.

Copies of the petition will also be available for signature in the club shop and the reception area at Tannadice.

Scotland and his Trinidad and Tobago team-mate Collin Samuel could feature in the Gold Cup later tonight when the Soca Warriors play their opening group match against Honduras in Miami.

Meanwhile, United boss Chisholm has taken former Kilmarnock goalkeeper Craig Samson on trial.

Samson, who had a spell on loan at St Johnstone last season, will be at Tannadice for a week or so working with keepers’ coach Rab Geddes.

“We will see how the big lad does,” said Chisholm.

“It could be that he would be ideal back-up but we will explore all possibilities.”