Partick Thistle fans launch Thistle For Ever in bid to save club from takeover

Lottery-winning backer Colin Weir recently withdrew financial support for the club
Lottery-winning backer Colin Weir recently withdrew financial support for the club

A new supporters group, Thistle For Ever, has launched a campaign aimed at securing a majority shareholding for Partick Thistle fans.

The move follows fans’ concern after speculation around a possible sale of the club to a consortium with no links to the club or its community.

Thistle For Ever aims to replicate the campaigns recently delivered by supporters of Hearts, Motherwell, St Mirren and Dunfermline Athletic and secure a majority shareholding in the club to bring the club into community ownership.

The group is being spearheaded by Paul Goodwin, who is also director of the Scottish Football Supporters Association.

A statement issued by the group said: "At present, Partick Thistle fan groups already own nearly 27% of the club’s shares.

"The Thistle For Ever campaign aims to generate supporters’ financial backing to enable an offer to be made to all existing shareholders to sell their shares to the club’s fans. The campaign will also welcome the gifting or pledging of shares from current shareholders.

"Thistle For Ever is also seeking an urgent meeting with the Club’s chairman to present the campaign’s aims and to ascertain details of the terms of sale he has recently discussed in detail with another interested party."

Mr Goodwin said: "Partick Thistle is a very special football club not just to its fans but for people in Glasgow, Scotland and further afield - securing its long term future is vital.

“Recent reports that certain shareholders of Partick Thistle Football Club are willing to sell their shares to a consortium with no links to Thistle or its community has caused grave concern with lots of Jags fans.

“Very little information has been forthcoming from the club’s board about the state of play with this sale.

“This is understandably making lots of fans worry about what this means for the club in the short term, and importantly in the long-term.

“Thistle For Ever is all about securing a majority of the club’s shares for the fans through a scheme similar to those successfully undertaken by other senior clubs in Scotland. This may be by a financial pledge or it could be existing shareholders gifting their shares.

“Partick Thistle fan groups already own nearly 27% of the club’s shares. Gaining a majority shareholding would require an additional 24%.

“Supporters of clubs like Hearts, Motherwell, St Mirren and others have demonstrated that the community ownership model can be undertaken by Scottish football clubs effectively and that fans will get behind them.

“Many fans are rightly very wary of ownership by individuals or by outside businesses that have no link to Thistle.

“Thistle For Ever is about protecting our club for the future and not leaving it at the mercy of individuals who may, for whatever reason, decide they no longer want to be part of the club.

“We are extremely keen to meet with the club’s Chairman at the earliest opportunity to discuss the sale of the club. He recently mentioned that the most important thing in the potential transfer of shares is the long-term interest of the club, something every Thistle fan will agree with, so we are hopeful this meeting will happen soon.

“The disruption to the club that has been caused by this uncertainty is clear for all to see: Colin Weir has withdrawn his backing and the playing budget has been cut. Resolving this soon will have a positive impact on the club and the team on the park.”

Fans of Partick Thistle can find out more and pledge support by visiting www.ThistleForEver.org.