Friday 27th March, 2020 at 1:15pm
In the normal course of things, football is at the heart of many lives. Today, as we await the full force of the coronavirus, like many other things that used to matter, playing a game seems of little consequence.
However, the ongoing absence of football is bringing challenges to all Clubs, including Thistle. The prospect of no games – and no income – for potentially a considerable time has been the Board’s focus since the shutdown.
With the help of CEO Gerry Britton, we have considered what’s the best course of action for the Club. It has to be one that protects our long-term future but also reflects our immediate responsibilities to our employees, whether players, management, full-time office staff, ground staff, hospitality staff or part-time matchday staff. It also has to be a strategy that allows us to continue to live within our means and keeps us debt free.
Due to careful management by successive Boards, our finances are in better shape than many others. But we cannot be complacent as no one knows when football will resume.
The financial assistance offered to the Club by our fans totals just short of £35k raised in a week. That is incredible and has allowed us to consider doing things we might not otherwise have been able to. We cannot thank fans enough for their support, financial or otherwise. We are indeed Partick Thistle Family Club.
While football’s governing bodies continue to wrestle with issues from concluding this season to deciding when next season might start, we have had to focus on creating our own certainty to fulfil our obligations to everyone at the Club.
We do not want anyone to worry about their jobs or income against the current backdrop of uncertainty.
Therefore, the Board has decided that from now until the end of May (the end of the season as was), no member of staff across the Club will be left worse off by the current situation.
We will look to use the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, if that is available to us, for certain groups within the Club but we will make up any difference to reflect their usual rate of pay.
If it is not, we will still honour our commitment to every employee in full. Regardless of their role at Thistle, we have an equal responsibility to each of them at this time.
Given that information is changing almost daily, our plan is to go forward in phases, continually monitoring what’s happening and making informed decisions as we go forward with the best interests of the Club as our guiding principle.
In the interim, we will continue to monitor, review and plan what comes next with a view to sharing a further update with employees and fans in May or earlier if necessary. Your support for Partick Thistle has been immense, our only request is that you look after yourselves and those you love. Stay at home, stay safe – we want you all back at Firhill when the day comes that we can play again.