MONDAY was a momentous day for Partick Thistle. Nearly two years on from Colin Weir’s takeover of the club – one undertaken with the objective of eventually gifting the shares to the club’s fanbase – a date has now been set for the Jags to become a fan-owned club.

It has been a long process and one that has been exacerbated by the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and Weir's death in December 2019 but another significant step was taken earlier this week when a deadline of June 2022 was set for the share transfer.

With the finishing line in sight, the time has now arrived for supporters to get involved in the initiative and become a part-owner of their beloved club. And the message from The Jags Foundation (TJF), the fans’ body set up to manage the controlling stake once the deal is finalised, is that there’s no greater time than the present.

 “Nobody is going to rock up and hand you the keys to a house and say ‘there you go, it’s yours’ but that’s what’s happened here,” explains Andrew Donnelly, a key member of TJF.

“Usually you have to save up and then you’ve got to spend all your money once you’ve got it to get it the way you like. We’ve been given the keys to the house so why wouldn’t we want to make it as good as we can?

“This is such a unique opportunity that we’ve got. He’s not around to hear it but we should all be thanking Colin for this. It’s a wonderful opportunity and quite a legacy.

“You’ll be the boss. Along with all your friends and family that support Thistle you’ll be the owner. If you’re not happy with something at the club, you have the right to change that eventually through the right channels.

“It’s so different. You see fans everywhere that are unhappy with the way their club is being led but they can’t do anything about it, they can only complain. We’re going to own it, we’re the majority shareholder. Of course we can change things.”

As Donnelly alludes to, the situation is something of a novelty. Other moves to fan ownership require the fanbase to raise capital to buy a controlling stake but thanks to Weir’s generosity, no such penny-pinching is needed at Firhill.

There are those Jags supporters that may feel a little hesitant at being handed the keys to the kingdom but as Allan Heron explains, there is a crucial distinction to be made between fan-run and fan-owned.

“As a majority shareholder there’s quite a lot of influence,” he said. “There are already three directors on the club board that have effectively been appointed on the back of Colin buying the club. In a sense that’s already there. We’re working off quite a well-documented playbook in terms of what we’re working towards and that’s very much guiding us.

“The good thing is we’re not reinventing the wheel in terms of how fan ownership works. The one thing that’s different is that we don’t need fans saving up money to give to someone else. One or two people have asked ‘what’s the point in joining?’ but the benefit is that the money is automatically going to help the club.

“It’s not needed in the sense that it will always remain the responsibility of the club to operate the day-to-day operations; what we’re putting in is always going to be something on top of that.”

Donnelly concurs. “As the majority shareholder we’ll be looking to elect some directors as well,” he said. “But fundamentally everyone that’s on that board from that point on is there on our say-so.

“We’re not looking to get involved in the day-to-day stuff: that’s what the club board is for. We’re not going to turn up at Firhill on a Monday morning wanting to know why Ian McCall picked so-and-so over someone else.

“What we will be looking to do is make sure we work with the club and figure out the overall strategic direction. We’ll have a continuing dialogue there. It’s a fan-owned club, not a fan-run club. In that sense the relationship between the club and [Weir’s company that owns the controlling stake] Three Black Cats is just exactly the same once it’s us.”

There are those that will wonder what exactly will change but as Donnelly points out, the sky is the limit for the Championship club and the changes that could be instituted. Each member of TJF will have a vote and a simple majority will be enough for fans’ concerns to be raised with the club board.

He said: “It’s not an overnight decision. If you’re not happy with the rest of the club – say you want to funnel all of the money into the youth academy. We can go and do that. If you want to have a manager that plays the most attractive brand of football, then you can appoint a board of directors that will go and get him.

“You can do these things, you’re no longer standing shouting on the sidelines. You can go and do something tangible about it.

“There’s no holds barred with it. The fans can do with it whatever we’d like. This is a massive event – it’s something that we all really need to get behind.

“I would encourage all Thistle fans to come and join because it’s their club. All you need to do is put in a small token each month and become a part of it.

“Don’t sit on your hands. If you want to get involved, hit us up at games or through the media channels we have. Don’t think about it; just come and join. Let’s be part of this revolution that’s really exciting and takes us on to the next level.”