Tuesday 18th December, 2018 at 11:08am
Dear Fellow Supporters
As we reported previously, the PTFC Trust has been making significant efforts to improve interaction between the Trust and the Club to ensure that the Club is listening to the fans’ views, and importantly, responding to them. We now meet the Board regularly, and we aim to disseminate information to supporters following every Club Board meeting. Hopefully, we’ll get into the swing of publishing updates to you on a regular basis going forward. But this is a two-way process – we need supporters to engage with the Trust as we are the single biggest shareholder in the Club so let’s use that status to get our voices heard. Below are updates we hope will be of interest:
The Club is assessing proposals to replace the existing online ticketing system to ensure it is fit for purpose. It’s hoped that a new system will be in place prior to season tickets going on sale for season 2019/2020.
As raised at the Club AGM, clear stickers designating season ticket holder’s seats are now in situ in both the John Lambie and Jackie Husband stand.
Structural works within the Colin Weir Stand are required to be undertaken by March 2019 and are on schedule for completion. Further work required will be included within an annual maintenance programme for completion within 3 – 5 years.
Given we seem to have on-going issues with microphones at Firhill which I experienced first-hand at our recent Trust meeting with supporters, I’m pleased to report that AV upgrades have now been installed in both hospitality lounges.
Buy a Brick Scheme
I hope all supporters have noticed that the “buy a brick” scheme has now been re-launched! Owners of the bricks currently detailed on the outside of the Jackie Husband Stand can choose to rehouse them within either JL or JH stand free of charge. New tiles are available for purchase at a cost of £50, with a certificate detailing the purchase, available pre-Christmas. An unveiling ceremony will be arranged for February 2019.
This initiative seems to be gathering momentum and there are now over 80 businesses signed up to the Club with a schedule of events for 2019 being finalised. We are pleased to hear that the Board will analyse the financial impact of contacts made through the Business Club at their next board meeting.
We hope supporters will make use of the Club shop on Firhill Road being open throughout December (12pm-4.30pm) in the run up to Christmas.
Many fans have raised the issue of maximising use of our stadium and facilities so I’m pleased that the Club has been proactive in implementing a plan to increase stadium utilisation to generate additional income. Recent pitch rental has included the SWF Cup final and the Israeli national team training session, along with location filming for Only an Excuse!
You may have noticed the SFA announced a 6 year deal relating to coverage rights for the Scottish Cup. In addition to this, the SPFL will announce a new 5 year broadcast deal from 2020. This will see an uplift in income for the central distribution pot to circa £5 million per annum. A deal has been struck with the BBC, which will see 20 Ladbrokes Championship matches being shown for the next 3 seasons on a Friday evening.
A change is afoot in the SPFL match day medical cover, which will see the prospect of medical cover being provided by the home team. Discussions are still ongoing in this regard with all championship sides.
Club Staff Update
Professional Phase Coach
Congratulations to Ryan McCann who has been promoted from the Academy to take over this vital role. The manager believes this will improve the development of our young players within the U18 and reserve squads.
Congratulations and welcome to Grant Gallacher who will head up hospitality at PTFC.
We hear that former Hibs physio, Colin McClelland, is being seconded from Napier University to the Club’s physio department 2 days per week and Colin will work alongside another experienced physio, Alan Rankin. This will provide experience and add capacity to current physio Katy Stanton’s inputs.
First team sports scientist
We are also pleased to hear that Carlos Valenzuela is now in place to lead on sport science for the First Team.
Well done to Beth Adamson who has recruited 140 new Junior Jags memberships. Beth’s work in local schools will kick off again in January, following consultation with the manager around player availability. The merchandise store in the JH concourse is being evaluated for proposed use as a ‘Thistle Hub’, which will see the Junior Jags and the Partick Thistle Club Trust having a visible presence on match days.
The manager’s discussion with the Club Board reiterated how much he is enjoying the manager’s role with the Club, but also his frustration at how results have not reflected the improved performances. The manager provided detailed evidence around the training regime and how the players were now training smarter, with increased intensities being displayed. He spoke to how the data being provided from the Catapult System, pointed to the players becoming fitter and capable of working at higher outputs for longer periods. Daily reports point to a 10% fitness increase on average across the squad. The manager spoke to the importance of mind set and pushing players to work at a higher level and in relation to mental tiredness late in games.
The manager also intimated that his long term development plan for the squad was altered following the Morton game. He was resolute that development had to be initiated on a quicker timescale. The various stages of development were; to work on conceding less goals, to instil more belief and to be more creative in the final third.
Player Recruitment January Window 2019
I know the January window has been a hot topic of interest for supporters so we understand that the manager presented a Recruitment Report and associated costs needed to bring a number of core players to the Club within the January window. Following a detailed discussion, the outcome was that the Board unanimously approved the release of funds, in full, as requested by the manager, to deliver his player recruitment proposal. This is very positive news indeed.
Testimony to the Academy’s progress and the commitment of Scott Allison and TWA staff, the Academy will receive a £34k Measureable Performance Outcomes bonus from the SFA this season. Scott reported very positive feedback from parents at the recent reviews. He also detailed an 85% retention rate in players, which is an increase on previous years. This bodes well as the TWA will hopefully continue to produce our future Thistle stars.
PT Charitable Trust
Finally, the Club is providing assistance to the PT Charitable Trust Christmas gift appeal, with gifts collected at the last 2 home games. Thanks to supporters for your donations which will support the PT Charitable Trust’s Christmas Day dinner for a number of local residents who would otherwise be alone on Christmas Day – well done to PTCT!
That’s all for now folks.
Chair, PTFC Trust