We’ve had some really great engagement from fans in recent days, telling us what they think the opportunities and challenges for fan ownership are. In this piece, Andrew Holloway, one of our Directors and the Foundation’s Treasurer, sets out why he got involved with the Foundation and why he thinks it’s the best way forward for our Club.
Quite a few fans have asked us what our intentions are as directors of TJF, and in particular whether we want to become Club Board directors ourselves. I thought it would be worth setting out my personal perspective on this.
Why did I get involved?
- I did not get involved to pick the team, or sack the manager! That is not what happens at fan owned clubs. No TJF Director, nor TJF Member, nor PTFC fan, will have this right under any fan ownership model.
- I did not get involved to be a Director of PTFC.
Even if this had been my intention, any such transition is not guaranteed unless and until, at the earliest, fan representation is negotiated and agreed. At that point, the right people with the right skillsets would need to be identified. I am a Director of TJF – a body of 616 (and counting!) fans – who want to see fan ownership delivered at PTFC.
Getting the right skills and experience in place
It is not our desire or intention that TJF’s Board should run the club, or that we simply displace the existing PTFC Board. Well run businesses rely on continuity and stability.
However, we do think there should be board representation for the fans under a fan ownership model, just as we see at other clubs (see our piece on St Mirren from earlier this week). TJF has a large, growing and engaged network with the Thistle fanbase. TJF Board Directors and indeed our members can help the Club to identify individuals with suitable experience and skills that would augment the existing strengths of the PTFC Board.
Both the TJF Board and Club Board have shared aims in terms of where we want Thistle to be on and off the park. We also have a shared view of the Club’s wider role in the community. We hope to be able to complement each other’s strengths. But we’ve always said that the PTFC Board should run PTFC and the TJF Board should run TJF.
As for me personally, I have little desire for a PTFC Board Director role. At our first meeting as a Board we went around the (virtual!) table and that sentiment was widely shared. This isn’t about personal advancement for us. We just want the fans to have a real stake in their club and to know that their priorities and interests are properly taken into account when major decisions are made.
What is TJF for?
There is a lot we have done, are beginning to do, could still do and are hoping to do. We have been blown away by the enthusiastic engagement of our members, and the wider Thistle support, since our election in May. If you want to hear more from us, look out for us at games (further information about this will follow soon). Come along to our Foundation Summer BBQ on Sunday 31 July at Brewhaus on Queen Margaret Drive. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or reach out to us on our social media channels (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn).
I am proud to come from a PTFC supporting family. My dad first took me along in 1995, and since then I have met some great friends along the way. I attend as often as I can, and have introduced both my girls (3 and 1) to PTFC. I want to see a stable PTFC in the long term. I want to see the focus on success on the field, with vibrant, engaged off-field presence for our support right through our community. I want to see the delivery of a legacy fan-owned football club, one that we can all be truly proud of.
That is why I am a TJF Director!