A big thank you from TJF
First and foremost, I want to thank every single Thistle fan who made it to The Record Factory for the TJF pre-match party. It was a phenomenal event and a real coming together of Jags fans young and old. Special thanks go to our hosts, to Gavin Dunbar our DJ and of course to Ian Mackinnon our events guru.
The Thistle support backed the team in outstanding numbers at Ibrox yesterday, and the team more than held its own on the pitch. Across the city, of course, the Women’s team also put up a brave battling performance against Hearts in the Cup, forcing the Edinburgh side to extra time.
HR decisions are Club decisions
It is a source of real frustration that a big day out like this has been marred by events off the pitch. This is an important learning point on what “fan-owned, but not fan-run” means.
Any decision to relieve the management team of their first team duties is ultimately a footballing one for the Club Board, rather than for a fan representative shareholder. The model we see at other Clubs has always been “fan-owned” rather than “fan-run”. It wouldn’t be right for a fan organisation to be calling the shots on footballing decisions like this.
There are HR implications of such a decision and proper processes need to be followed. I therefore wouldn’t have expected TJF’s board, even if TJF were the majority shareholder, to have been told about this decision in advance of it being communicated to Ian McCall, Neil Scally and Alan Archibald.
TJF’s relationship with the Club and Trust
But it is also worth emphasising that TJF is not a shareholder at Partick Thistle. While we were invited to nominate an individual to the interim board of the Football Club, Caroline Mackie is not a “TJF rep” and we do not send her into the room with a “TJF hat” on. All four members of the Club’s interim board are there in a personal capacity, owe legal obligations to the Club first and foremost as directors, and must exercise independent judgment.
A situation like this is exactly why TJF did not want to nominate a member of its elected board to the Club Board of Directors in November 2022. The boundaries of responsibility need to be respected if a fan ownership model is to work going forwards.
Timing of yesterday’s announcement
I will say that, as a board, we found the timing and communication of the Club Board’s decision very surprising. Several of my fellow board members, all of whom volunteer their time to TJF, were enjoying their evening off, with family and friends, when the Club statement dropped.
It is now for the Club to explain why it did what it did, and why it communicated this in the manner it did. We have made our own thoughts on the timing of this announcement, shared by many within the wider support, abundantly clear to the Club Board.
Full backing for Kris Doolan
I hope this explains the situation, from our perspective. I am sure you will be as keen as we are for Kris Doolan to make a success of the interim manager position, and for the squad to show the same fight and determination for the remainder of the league campaign as they demonstrated at Ibrox yesterday.