United regained their Premier League status in 1996 after an exciting play-off with Partick Thistle and Tommy McLean took over as manager.
This was the first of many regular changes at the helm over the next few years. Paul Sturrock had two years in charge from 1998-2000, followed by Alex Smith for the next two years, Paul Hegarty had three-month spell at the start of the 2002/03 season before Ian McCall was brought in in January.
2004/05 saw the departure of McCall and Gordon Chisholm being handed the role. Craig Brewster made an emotional return as player manager in January 2006 but three wins in 10 months wasn't enough and he was replaced with Craig Levein in October 2006.
When Levein took the vacant national team manager role in December 2009 Peter Houston was appointed caretaker manager and was offered the job on a permanent basis at the end of the season.
Since the launch of the SPL in 1998, United have finished in the top half four times (2003/04, 2007/08, 2008/09, 2009/10) but had failed to pose a serious challenge nor win silverware until 2010 when Houston led them to a memorable 3-0 Scottish Cup final win over Ross County.
In May 2016 the club were relegated to the Scottish Championship after finishing the season bottom of the SPL.