Partick Thistle FC Working Group: Programme Notes – 11th January 2020 v Dundee United

The below appeared on the Working Group’s double-page spread in yesterday’s matchday programme:

It’s been anything but an uneventful time around Firhill over the last few months with an announcement made on November 21st 2019 that Three Black Cats Ltd (3BC) had acquired a majority shareholding in Partick Thistle Football Club. An associated transaction also saw 3BC purchase Firhill Developments Ltd which sees ownership of the undeveloped land at the south end of the stadium and the main stand, known as the Colin Weir Stand, return to Thistle.

The majority shareholding purchased by 3BC is to be gifted to a, as yet to be created, fan shareholding entity. It is the purpose of the Partick Thistle FC Working Group to develop that fan shareholding entity.

Three Black Cats was owned by Thistle fan and Club Patron Colin Weir.

It would be remiss of us at this point not to extend our deepest sympathies to Colin’s family and friends at this sad and difficult time for them. Like it did with all Thistle fans the news of Colin’s passing on December 27th 2019 came as a profound shock to the Working Group.

In the announcement of the purchase of the majority shareholding Colin commented;

“Thistle For Ever planted the thought of fan ownership as a real option in my mind. From there, 3BC has taken the dream and is turning it into a reality. Today is a great day for a Club that means everything to me. I hope that fans can get behind this exciting development. They talk about Thistle being their Club – and now it really will be.”

Colin will be greatly missed at Firhill but his incredible generosity will hopefully see his vision turn to a legacy that will see Colin remain a part of Thistle’s future forever.

Colin recognised that events had happened at a greater than anticipated speed which is why he allowed a window for the new fan entity to be operational ensuring a smooth transfer of ownership.

The above is precisely why the Working Group has been created.

The Working Group has been tasked with:

  • Producing  a model of fan ownership that will be implemented following the gifting of shares, after receiving approval from 3BC
  • Engaging  with and involving fans of Partick Thistle Football Club in the process of creating the aforementioned mode.

On December 17th 2019 we began that process when we hosted the first of a series of events with the aim of:

  • Allowing fans to learn more about fan ownership and how it works
  • Explaining the mechanism by which Thistle will move towards fan ownership
  • Involving Thistle fans directly in identifying the best possible model for fan ownership of Partick Thistle Football Club

At our first event, entitled ‘The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of Fan Ownership’ we had presentations relating to fan ownership from Paul Goodwin and Bryan Jackson before the floor was opened up for what proved to be a fairly robust question and answer session. The two presentations are available to view via the Working Group social media platforms and the Official Club website where you can also find a dedicated section relating to the Working Group and our activities.

It had been our intent to hold our second public meeting, focusing more directly on how fan ownership will impact upon Thistle, on Thursday of this week but felt that a more appropriate action would be to delay that meeting to a respectful period after Colin’s funeral. We will provide details of the rescheduled date and venue as soon as we are in a position to confirm them.

The Working Group did, however, meet on Tuesday of this week where we took time to go through the applications received to join the Working Group and its various sub-groups.

Although it was Thistle For Ever that planted the thought of fan ownership in Colin Weir’s head it is important to stress that the Working Group is independent of any one fan group. Indeed it is vital that the Working Group is representative of the Thistle support as a whole and not only be reflective of a few small groupings. We believe that the variety of applications received has provided us with an opportunity to ensure just that.

Between our meeting on Tuesday and the time you read this article we have been busy matching applicants’ talents and approaching them to see if they are happy to take on the roles offered within the Working Group and sub-groups. We hope to be able to provide a much better overview of the Working Group’s overall structure in the programme for our Scottish Cup meeting with Celtic next weekend.

Meantime you can keep up to date with the Working Group’s activities via social media and on the Club’s website.

You can find us on Facebook at Partick Thistle FC Working Group, on twitter on @PTWorking Group and on the Club website at https://ptfc.co.uk/club/working-group/about-the-working-group/

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