Wednesday 2nd November, 2022 at 2:59pm
The latest audited annual accounts for Partick Thistle show that the Club is in good health in the period to 31st May 2022.
There are two things the Board would like to note in relation to these accounts. First, our assets have grown significantly to almost £14.3m in May 2022 from £5m in May 2021, giving us a solid foundation going forward. This is as a result of the land in the south of the stadium, along with The Colin Weir Main Stand, returning to Club ownership. It is 13 years since the whole of Firhill was in Partick Thistle’s hands and we remain grateful to the late Colin Weir for making this possible.
Second, there has been some negative comment with respect to the Club in the course of the year, talk of hidden debts, secret payments and implying financial difficulties. These accounts give lie to all of that.
There is an overall profit in terms of £1.5m, but there is an in-year operating loss of £215k that we want to explain. The Board planned for a balanced budget but then chose to exceed the budget in one area, the football budget. Directors made a considered decision to increase it in line with what the manager asked for as we share his aspirations to return to the topflight at the earliest opportunity.
We could have chosen not to dip in to our reserves to cover the resulting loss and could have stuck to the original budget. But our aim was to support the positive progress made by the manager in building a team to win promotion and set us up for the next season. We will continue to work to a balanced budget in future but will ultimately aim to generate profit as all monies go straight back to the Club.
Season 2021/22 was the first season completed without any break in three (season 2019/20 was ended early due to covid and season 2020/21 was interrupted for a 10-week period). It was not without its challenges as Covid was still present and, at times, impacted the Club’s personnel, operations and finances.
As restrictions loosened but uncertainty continued, there was a slow but welcome return of fans to games and hospitality, allowing the Club to achieve its targets. There were memorable moments such as the marking of the 1921 Scottish Cup victory. But it was events around the 1971 Scottish League Cup win that brought the Club fully back to life, along with the renaming of South Drive as McParland Way in tribute to our iconic cup winning manager. A programme of innovative events over the course of the season undoubtedly helped underpin the increase in turnover.
As ever, we are grateful to our CEO for his ongoing close control and management of expenditure, as well as income, ensuring that we met all of our obligations on and off the pitch whilst keeping our reserves positive. But it was a team effort overall and we thank every member of staff, player, volunteer and fan for their contribution to the Club’s continued positive re-emergence from a challenging period. Likewise, we are very grateful to our sponsors, old and new, for continuing to stand with us.
After a period of considerable challenge, we look forward to greater stability, with less surprises but even more success. We start what could be a very important season for the Club with a new pitch and with a strong playing squad, funded because of the actions we took. These accounts prove that we remain a Board and Club that is financially aware and responsible, funded to meet all its obligations on and off the pitch.