United players apologise to Paatelainen

"It's been a hard time and again we apologised to the manager because I don't think it's been anywhere near acceptable," said John Rankin.

"When he spoke to us, he was very respectful in what he had to say and thanked the players.

"Obviously we are devastated because that's another manager we've let down this season.

"To win six games from 35 is horrendous by any standard. It's not something that a club of the stature that Dundee United has expects."

Rankin, Florent Sinama Pongolle, Ryan Dow, Edward Ofere, Guy Demel, Callum Morris, Euan Spark and Joe McGovern will also now be leaving after failing to secure new contracts.